A: The quickest and most direct road to family harmony is through holding family meetings.
Today, July 7, 2017, I opened my historic Family Meeting binder and I found an envelope. I had labeled it “weekly chores” and inside were small pieces of paper with chores written on them by my daughter, (except for the special kitchen cleaning chore which I wrote.) I am so touched seeing her spelling and handwriting at age 5 and the pages of notes in the binder that we all wrote at each family meeting. I will forever hold onto this keepsake.
I don’t remember this activity in the picture, yet I’m sure Jen created these papers with chores on them during our family meetings that we held from February 20, 1994 to September 21, 2003. I found another envelope that said, “Already done chores”. Not all ideas were implemented.
I was in charge of making these meetings happen because my husband and daughter weren’t too excited about them. I used loving coercion to encourage attendance and participation by giving Jen allowance at the end of the meeting. No attendance, no allowance. For my husband, the more we had these meetings with good discussions, the more he understood their value.
So, if you are the only one in your family who wants to meet, as regularly as possible, don’t give up.
In family meetings, each person has an opportunity to express their thoughts and feelings. The more you show that you value your children by listening to them, the more they will respond to the needs of the family. This is because they will feel a part of the family; that chores and vacations are theirs to participate in and make successful. Too many parents try to control their children rather than connecting with their children which in turn leads to more bridges of understanding and harmony. When there are conflicts, your family meeting will be a way to mend broken hearts and find solutions.
So, I encourage you to start today by setting up a date for your first family meeting. Make it a priority. Try to have a meeting once a week. If you skip a week, re-determine to have weekly meetings. This is your family. Invest the time to create greater harmony and unity that will blossom into cooperation and a strong family bond.
Read my blog post Family Meetings Build Cooperation and Family Unity for full details of how to have a family meeting.
©2017 Cynthia Klein, Bridges 2 Understanding, has been a Family Success Coach since 1994. She works with parents and organizations who want more cooperation, mutual respect and understanding between adults and children. Cynthia presents her expertise through speaking, private parenting coaching sessions, and her book, Ally Parenting: A Non-Adversarial Approach to Transform Conflict Into Cooperation. She works with parents of 5 – 25 year-old children.
To learn how Cynthia can help you solve your specific challenges, contact Cynthia at bridges2understa.wpstagecoach.com, [email protected], or 650. 679.8138 to have a complementary 45-minute discovery session. Why keep suffering? It’s time to change!