Family Meeting, The First
12 June 2011
So as part of the parenting course we're doing, we have begun having weekly family meetings on Sunday evenings. Kind of like the 10 minutes of "mind, body and soul time" that each parent is supposed to have with each kid per day, this is whole-family MBS time. Tonight, we had our first meeting.
The kids didn't really "get it" at first, but when I explained that it would be fun, no one would get yelled at, and there were snacks involved, well, everyone rushed to grab a seat on the couch.
At first, Family Meeting agendas comprise five things:
1. Compliments and Appreciation
Since I was running this first meeting, I was the first to dole out the C & A to Rob and each of the kids. They listened eagerly for their remarks, smiled gratefully, and generally enjoyed hearing about themselves. Daddy went next, and then it was the kids' turns. They really clammed up, so we had to help them out a whole lot, and Jack felt so shy about speaking up that he cried. After we let him hold Cupcake, he felt more comfortable with sharing his compliments with us. It was a nice exchange overall, though, and I know they look forward to doing it again next Sunday.
This is where we go over what everyone has coming up for the next week. Pretty straight-forward. I took the big calendar off the wall and let Chloë write down the important stuff on it, and she enjoyed having that job. Everyone gets a job at Family Meeting.
I made special envelopes out of newspaper pages to present the kids their money, with a sticker on the outside to represent the recipient. They liked that. I'll probably do something different each week, to make it fun. They each received $2.00. When I have the money, I'm going to get each of them one of these from Amazon (unless you know where I can get them for cheaper?):
And I'll probably offer a matching donation and savings amount, when we get them, too. They were muy excited about getting allowance. It's about time we did that.
4. Snack time
This time, snack was Rice Krispie Treats, because I didn't get motivated to make the brownies Jack wanted in time. He was cool with that, though. They are on a RKT kick lately, since our Thursday road trip to Woodbridge. Brownies next week, I hope!
5. Family Fun Time
Fun Time can be anything from a burping contest to a big outing, and since I didn't have anything planned ahead of time, we decided on a big TickleFest. They looked forward to that through the whole meeting! So that helped to keep things moving.
There was a list of Ground Rules for Family Meeting, and there are things we'll add to the meetings as we get going, so let me know in the comments here if you're interested in incorporating this in your own family and need the details.
Rob and I both agreed that it went really well and will be great for our family, so I'm really excited about it.