Start a weekly meeting in the new year
- Choose a time that suits everyone's schedule. If someone can't make it one week, hold the meeting anyway, just so you can get into a routine.
- Don't make meetings mandatory, but do emphasize their importance.
- If possible, start this tradition when the children are young.
- Keep the meeting low-key and informal.
- Don't allow phone calls or other interruptions and distractions.
- If you are getting into difficult issues, dinner may not be the best time. Reserve dinnertime for casual catching up.
- Decide on the meeting's purpose: Is it to gather information, share news, or to make decisions?
- Alternate roles among participants - discussion leader, note-taker, snackmaker, etc.
- Don't vote. Try to make decisions by consensus.
- Make time for fun - play a board game, watch a video, or read a story.
- Allow everyone to talk without interruption or criticism.
- Make clear that parents are still the bosses, and that they make the final decision.
- If a problem arises with one member, address it with that person alone, not as part of a family meeting.
- Don't wait for a crisis to call a meeting.
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