It was a typical Monday; I was running from school to soccer practice and home again with very little time in between to connect with my kids. I found myself running from problem to problem. You know the scenario, your kids are at the door, something happens and there is no time to solve the problem and address the situation because you are late. This is how we found ourselves week after week and we needed a change.
I wanted to empower my children to become more confident and responsible for their actions and part of the problem solving process. The family meeting was started to equip my children with the tools needed to solve their future problems on their own.
Like most families, time is in short supply. I needed a way to connect with my kids and give them a voice in the family. With homework and sports practice, dinner seems to be the only time we were all together as a family. We start the family meeting after dinner once a week to discuss topics of the kids and our choosing.
I put a binder together with a family meeting sheet (download below) for each week in a place the kids have access to. We encourage them to write down items that they want to discuss. The impact of writing things down helps our kids know that an issue is not forgotten and will be solved at the meeting. This helps diffuse many tense situations that usually ended in fighting or yelling.