1. Allissa
    November 27, 2018 @ 9:52 pm

    These are some really useful ideas Patricia! I appreciate the practical tools to add to my parenting toolkit. I love the idea of ending with something fun – I’ve been trying to institute family games night for years… two birds with one stone!


    • Patricia Morgan
      November 27, 2018 @ 10:55 pm

      Thank you, for the acknowledgement, Allissa. I, too, was excited when I first learned about the idea of Family Meetings. They worked well with our family of five and during a year when we had a college student living with us. When I worked at a family counselling agency I often encouraged parents to try them out.

      Family Meetings work quite children with children over seven years of age. As you children move into the pre-teen and teen-ager years, these meetings can be a god-send to have in place. I bet you can imagine how helpful they are with a spirited youth.

      But it is much harder to convince a youth to participate than a younger child. We found that once our kids discovered the win-win of Family Meetings, they would not miss out.

      Beginning the habit is the hardest part. One of the children might choose not to participate. But then they see the benefits of airing complaints, making requests,and usually getting what they want, depending on issues safety, health, and age appropriateness.

      By the way, leveraging the ‘fun’ aspect of Family Meetings also encourages participation. The Grandmother Law of ‘after’ works very well. You know what your children’s fun currency is; that is what is a fun treat. Then you use it ‘after’. It sounds like this:

      “After our Family Meeting we will go bowling.”
      “After our Family Meeting we will have popcorn and watch the movie.”
      “After our Family Meeting we will play the board game.”

      The Grandmother Law of ‘after’ can be used to avoid saying “no” to your children. I remember our son asking for a car. We said something like: “Of course! After you save up the money, we’ll help you purchase one.”

      Good luck!


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