“You wouldn’t expect your car to run without periodic refueling and maintenance, yet we expect our family unit to run without regular checkups. The most enthusiastic endorsement for family meetings comes from parents and children who have experienced them. One teenager told us, ‘It’s a great way to make sure tensions never build up. We sit around and talk about family activities, chores, who wants to do what, who wants to trade off what, who’s bothered by what.’ His mother added, ‘It’s time for all of us to think creatively about what we need for ourselves and how we can be supportive of each other.’ ” – Siblings without Rilvalry, Faber & Mazlish
Family Council Agenda Suggestions
- Coordinate Calendars
- Review Problems & Suggestions
- Set & Review Family Goals
- Educate one another on life skills, safety (first aid, online dangers, stranger danger etc.)
Family Problem & Suggestion Book.
For about the last 15 years we have always had a book left out on the side where anyone can write or draw or dictate to someone else, any frustration or problem they have. Remember, “I was angry with my friend: I told my wrath, my wrath did end…” William Blake. When it comes to addressing problems the rules below will be essential to finding successful solutions.
Rules to guide the council.
- Everyone has a turn to speak.
- Every comment and feeling is acceptable, if they begin with “I think…” or “I feel…”
- Every suggestion goes unevaluated and written down, until everyone has spoken.
- After everyone has had a turn to speak, decide upon solutions you can all live with (even if it stays on the agenda for a year or more!).
- Follow up.
“Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down”
Treats to go with a family council can really sweeten the experience and leave a good taste in the mouth!