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6 REASONS TO HAVE A WEEKLY FAMILY MEETING

Did you have family meetings when you were a kid? Were they a regular occurrence or only when there was a crisis or situation that warranted it? Depending on your experience, your feelings about them might range from fond memories to dread. But the truth is, family meetings don’t have to be something tied to negative connotations or memories for your own family.

Establishing a weekly family meeting can have a lot of great benefits for both individual members and the family as a whole. Here are 6 reasons to start one:

1. It’s intentional time for the whole family to communicate.

Whether your family is big, small, or somewhere in between, communication that includes the entire family isn’t going to be perfect. Chances are you might forget to let someone know about the plans for next weekend, or only half the family is on the same page about the new screen time rules. A regular meeting provides a standing chance for members to make sure everyone is in the know and no one is unintentionally left in the dark.

2. They build a sense of solidarity and belonging.

When you’re all usually going in a million different directions for work, school, activities, hobbies, etc., that “family unit” feeling of connection can dwindle if you’re not careful. While it’s healthy for members to have separate interests, a regular family meeting can help balance out the sense of separateness with a consistent opportunity to reconnect as a family. While sitting down for a meal together every day serves a similar secondary purpose, you’ll occasionally have a super hectic week where that doesn’t happen as much as you’d like. The family meeting is a great backup to have in place.

3. They help the family navigate transitions.

Transitions are hard for couples and families alike. Whether it’s a move to a new city, a change in family structure, or a new daily routine, a weekly meeting can help that often bumpy period of time go just a bit smoother. Members can share their worries, offer each other reassurance, or gain clarity that may help them get through the big changes you’re facing together. It’s also a great time to check in with each person on how they’re doing or make any necessary adjustments as a family going forward.

4. You can get everyone’s input.

If you have a family decision you’d like everyone to weigh in on, a family meeting is a great time to do it. Whether it’s where to go on your next family vacation or what pizza toppings to get for your weekly pizza night, you’ll conveniently have everyone in one place to share their thoughts and opinions on the matter – or even take a quick vote. You’ll ensure everyone’s voice is heard and no one is left out.

5. It’s a chance to celebrate accomplishments and offer support.

There’s no better time to call out things worth celebrating than when the whole family is present. Did someone make the honor roll or ace a big test? You or your spouse just finish up a big project at work? Give all the props, praise, and high fives. On the flip side, there will be times when family members are looking for encouragement, and this is an equally opportune time to offer that. A weekly meeting is like having a family cheering section for daily life, building members’ confidence and providing support when they need it.

6. You can tailor it to your season of life.

You might be wondering: how old should our kids be when we start this? What if there’s a wide range in age? What if we don’t have kids? The great news is there is no right or wrong answer here. The key is to do what works for you and your family in the current season you’re in. Make adjustments as you need to. This might mean the family meeting is actually just a weekly logistical check in for you and your spouse if you don’t have children or they’re still too young to actively take part. Or it could mean you set up a weekly video call with your parents and siblings instead. It might mean only some of your kids participate, or they only join for part of the meeting. Don’t let worries of “doing it right” hold you back – just start one!

For many people, family meetings are associated with crisis, and it makes sense. When there’s an intense family situation, it’s usually the go-to way to get all hands on deck. However, making family meetings a regular, weekly occurrence turns it into a positive bonding experience, allowing you to leverage all the good things they can do for the family as a whole.





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