Let’s evaluate the importance of Family Meetings for a valuable decision making.
Involvement of family members in process of decision making helps to make a good decision. There was a time when a nuclear family was the norm. Two parents, two kids, with a cat and a dog – standard protocol for a middle-class family.
Back in those days, kids were seen and not heard, Dads made most of the decisions and moms supported dads, at least outwardly. Making decisions was pretty easy then because there was no negotiating or influencing the decision makers. The term “my way or the highway” comes to mind.
Today’s families are made up of all sorts of scenarios. From single family homes, to blended family homes, to families with multi-generations living together.
There are many ways to design and enjoy being a family. As families move away from the traditional norms, it becomes necessary to problem solve and make decisions in new and creative ways. Family meetings are one of the ways important decisions can be made. Family meetings are a great way to get the whole family involved in making decisions and supporting changes within the family dynamic.
Here are some examples of what good family meetings are… and aren’t.
Family meetings are inclusive:
Every member of the family can participate in a family meeting. Keep the topics age-appropriate and share content that is developmentally safe for each family member.
Family meetings are structured:
A meeting should have a consistent beginning, middle, and end. An agenda is also a great tool to keep the meeting on-task and help the participants see what is coming up next.
Family meetings are solution-focused:
Cooler heads always prevail, and family meetings should be a safe place to work out problems, seek solutions, and make compromises. Parents should keep things positive and model peace-keeping behaviors to the children.
Family meetings are not a time to alienate or shame:
Care should be taken to make sure no one is embarrassed, shamed, or exploited during a meaning. Even the toughest meetings can be managed with dignity.
Family meetings are not democratic:
Though everyone should offer input and share their feelings about a situation, the parents bear the burden of making the final decisions. Kids may not have the emotional maturity or life-experience to make sound decisions, but encouraging their input helps them become better decision makers themselves. Family meetings are a modern tool that can help members make better decisions.
Involving family in processing decisions helps everyone. Parents can get buy-in from their family about important issues and changes.
Kids learn important skills like negotiating, compromise, and making tough choices. Use family meetings as a way to enhance your family’s culture.