Family Meetings are structured opportunities for family connection, communication, planning, and problem solving. They are a regular time to sit and share together, and they provide the opportunity for your children to have a voice and for everyone to learn accountability. Family meetings generally follow this structure: compliments, planning, problem solving.
When you first start family meetings, take it slow, and be sure to include your children in the planning and even have them take the lead. In Sound Discipline schools, children are familiar with this format because they have regular classroom meetings at school. Ask your children how classroom meetings work at school and ask them to help the family get started. Start with teaching your family how to give compliments and add the other components in later. Do several meetings that only include compliments and planning a fun activity, before you move into problem solving.
We are providing resources to help you get started with family meetings and hope they will make a positive difference for your family during this unplanned time of school closures. Establishing this routine now can create stronger relationships, build problem solving skills and create a structure for getting family work done and solving other challenges in the future.
Positive Discipline Family Meetings, Sproutable
Family Meetings, Positive Discipline
All About Family Meetings With Julietta Skoog, Podcast from Joyful Courage
Ask your child to tell you about some of the important parts of a classroom meeting. See below for some ideas for what to ask them about. What do they do at school and how can they help create a way to make it work at home?
- Talking object – What do they pass around to let people know whose turn it is to talk? What will your family use for a talking object?
- Agenda – How do they keep track of problems to solve at school? What might work for recording family problems?
- What is the structure and process for giving compliments?
- Leave ‘em Laughing is a fun transition activity to end the meeting…what are their favorites from school? Could your family try it?
Then, plan and hold your first family meeting – to start off, just practice compliments and plan a fun activity.