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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tuesday Tip: Family Meeting Worth The Effort

Family picking apples

I've never been very good at discipline.  And I’ve never been a big fan of too many rules.  But lately, the kids have been especially unruly.  Call it Spring Fever, but sometimes I feel like I’m talking to the wall.  Are my kids even listening?  Something had to be done, so Doug called a family meeting.

At first I was skeptical.  Would the kids even take us seriously?  As parents, we’ve been guilty of not following through with chores, charts, and consequences.  Would this be any different?

To start, the kids were stone quiet.  Their eyes were wide open as we started the meeting, and you could hear a pin drop as everyone took turns talking.  By the end of the meeting, Abby was giving everyone orders and repeating the messages loud and clear.  No more trash on the floor.  Don’t forget to brush your teeth.  Make your bed.  Don’t scream Mom’s name at the top of your lungs.  Clean your plate.  Say thank you and please.

Two weeks have since passed, and we probably need to have another family meeting.  But I’ll have to say, we’ve also seen improvement.  The kids have been much more intentional about doing their chores and homework.  Reminders have been less frequent.  Attitudes are more positive. 

Sometimes we all need to regroup, and I’ll have to say – the family meeting was worth the effort.  Have you tried a family meeting and, if so, has it worked?  How do you keep your kids’ attention and teach them to stay on course, especially when they have Spring Fever?

1 comment:

Alison said...

We've had a few family meetings with the kids, but my husband and I have bi-weekly family meetings between the two of us. This has been great for our marriage. We were constantly catching each other off-guard with things we needed to discuss or schedule issues. Our off-the-cuff timing was never good.

So, we schedule the family meeting and both come to the table with an agenda. It can be anything. That's our neutral time to focus on what we need to communicate about. It's been a life saver!