There is always decisions that need to be made as a family and the best way to get everyone’s opinion of a topic is to hold a family meeting. Family meetings don’t need to be formal and stuck to some sort of agenda but light and relaxed so everyone feels free to express their opinion on a topic without regard to any action taken against them. Having this relaxed atmosphere allows a family to better communicate with each other and know exactly where others stand on the issues.
The first step in an effective family meeting is planning. Although you want to keep a relaxed atmosphere you also want to address all problems and decisions that need to be made. Planning out a date and time will allow everyone else to get together anything that they want brought up and discussed at the meeting. Having your materials in check is a good idea too. Ask the kids to write down anything they want discussed and addressed at the family meeting. Give them ample time to get everything in order, so don’t throw the pop-quiz family meeting. A few days should be enough for everyone. And this can be an every month or bi monthly meeting.
One of the keys to holding an effective family meeting is letting everyone talk uninterrupted for a period of time. Once they are finished give everyone a chance to respond including your smallest children. Sometimes you may need to use an item that allows you to be the only one talking such as a talk box. Whoever holds the talk box is the only one who can talk. A timer works good also as you can limit everyone to a certain time that they can talk.
Make sure that you address all the issues that were brought up. And also make sure no one leaves the meeting feeling like they didn’t have their issue addressed. Even though the outcome may not have been to their liking, they still had their issue addressed and their voice heard. Having effective family meetings can bring your family closer and help making decisions for the entire family much easier.