Weekly family meetings are an invaluable tool and can be the glue that keeps a family’s busy life from spinning out of control. Creating a mindful family meeting and place for the family to meet weekly provides a place for communication, building trust, and your family’s values. A mindful family meeting organizes the family’s lives and keeps the family focused on what is important. This meeting is a place where each voice is heard, opinions are encouraged and listened to, family activities are planned and reverent respect and power are learned.
Why Have a Family Meeting?
- Keeps the family on the same team. Same goals and mission. Learn to coordinate efforts and work as a team or a tribe. Each person makes a list of what they are responsible for
- Intimacy. Time is created for intimacy, laughter, and tears. The family is vulnerable and intimate at these regular meetings.
- Power issues. Children learn about power issues. Who runs the meetings, each person’s opinion is respected, women and men are given equal time and equal value. Children are listened to with reverent respect and encouraged to explore their own personal power.
- Decision-making skills. The entire family is involved in decision making. This creates leadership and critical thinking skills.
- Valuable skill sets learned. Every member of the family learns to listen and compromise.
- Goals and priorities. Learn how to set goals and how to prioritize these goals. Everyone can make a list, but happy successful people learn how to effectively prioritize goals and lists.
- Support. Mutual support is essential in our busy world, knowing you have the support of your family.
- Chores. Chores are assigned so all work in the family is delegated. Creates less fighting.
- Schedules. The entire family’s schedules are coordinated, sports, meetings, special occasions. This helps everyone keep on the same page.
- Holidays and vacations. Where to go, how much money to spend and when the family can go are some of the issues talked about in the family meeting. Also, encourage the children to explore online where to take family vacations.
Agenda For The Mindful Family Meeting
- Take a few moments of silence. This allows each person to center from their busy day and be present for the family meeting.
- Inspirational/motivational message. A different person each week in the family is the leader of the family meeting. When it is your turn, you are responsible for that week’s inspirational message. It can be from a book you love, a person who is your hero, a quote you love.
- Gratitude. Each person takes a turn and tells what they are grateful for that week. Maybe people can talk about their gratitude for health, love, good grades, winning a game, etc.
- Review of last week. How was your last week?
- What Worked? Positive happenings in the last week. What great things happened?
- What is Not Working? Challenges. What was tough for you?
- This week. What is going on this future week?
- What to focus on this week. Positive expectations for the week.
- Challenges. What rough patches do you expect this week in your life?
- Help? Who in the family needs help? Physical help with a project or psychological or emotional support.
- Calendar. Coordinate every person’s schedule on one calendar. This includes sports, parties, events, and tests.
- Holidays. Where to go, costs and planning of holidays.
- Finances. Discuss the finances in general.
- Budget. Find ways to cut spending. This includes coupons, discount stores for food and clothing, purchasing online, trim power bills with lights, cooling-heating, check on telephone plans costs, beauty salons less expensive, save gasoline by combining trips. Get creative ideas from family members.
- Future needs. Plan for new clothes, events (such as proms and graduation), gifts, celebrations, holidays, food, etc. This stops the shocking unexpected demands that can really damage your budget.
- Creative ideas for income. Rent out storage space on your property, your garage, basement or attic can be rented out for money to neighbors.
- Rent a room. Airline staff who are tired of staying at hotels or traveling business people and others who want to rent a room.
- Neighborhood home maintenance. Try walking and/or bathing dogs, washing windows, cleaning, car care, etc.
- Canning. Canning fruits or veggies is a great family activity creating memories, and you can give them as special gifts or sell them as unique gifts.
- Baked goods. Bou can try baking bread, cakes, brownies, cheese straws or cookies to sell.
- Babysitting service. Babysit children, eldercare, or animals for extra cash.
- Part-time job. Some of the older children may get a part-time job after school or on the weekends.
- Closing comments. Ask are there any other issues we need to talk about as a family?
- Snack time. End the meeting with a snack such as fruit, cookies, or brownies.