Every Sunday we meet together as a family to discuss the up coming schedule for the week as well as any other issues that may need to be discussed as an entire family. As parents we use this time to talk about expectations for the week or to address discipline issues, reaffirm family standards or create new family standards.
At times this meeting can cause feelings that are far from harmonious. This week we had a very harmonious outcome and I wanted to take a few minutes to share what we did different. I think that we learned the "5 Secrets to Success" for a more peaceful atmosphere at our family meetings.
Secret of Success #1- Happy Tummies Make Listening Ears
Before the meeting began I popped some popcorn, the children started gathering around because they heard the popper and wondered why mom was making popcorn. I just told them it was for our family meeting.
Secrets of Success #2- There's a Time and Place to Be In Charge
Usually we have all four children sit on the large sofa and mom and dad take the small sofa so that we can face them and be "In Charge". This time we had everyone sit on either sofa and mom and dad sat in between them. Because in this meeting we didn't have any serious content to discuss it was appropriate for us to sit with our children.
Secrets of Success #3- Get Their Attention
Before the meeting started Dad asked two engaging questions. . ."Who's happy to be here? Who's glad to be part of our family?" Wow, it was amazing to see their faces change, they were actually ready to accept the content of our meeting.
Secrets of Success #4- Everybody Feels Loved
Before we went through any of the content for our meeting Dad asked everyone to get a partner. Then he had each of us take 30 seconds to tell our partner what we loved about them, then we switched and the other partner got a turn. Dad then asked if anyone would like to share what they said about their partner. Everyone Shared, because everyone loved hearing about themselves! After this exercise Mom passed out the popcorn- that was the reward for sharing our feelings of love!
Secrets of Success #5- Earn the Right
Dad took a few minutes to explain his role in the family as well as the role of Mom. He told the children how much we loved each of them and why we as parents think that it is important to meet together each week and make sure our family is staying true to the course that we have set and chosen to follow. After that the children had an extremely open attitude to the things that we discussed.