Thoughts on fostering growth through empathy
- a blog for parents -
Most of us did not grow up with them, but I think, in our busy modern world, a weekly (or alternate week) family meeting is a GREAT idea.
Ideally, they're scheduled on a regular (predictable) basis with the intention and design that this is an important time for the family to sit together and discuss important aspects of your lives. It is NOT rushed, hurried, or distracted. Cell phones and TV's and radios (remember them?!) are OFF! Kids may need fidgets to stay focused or to stand instead of sit, but, engaging and paying attention to the conversation is what counts.
You may be wondering what could be so important for a family to discuss? Try any of the following:
- establishing four key household rules and predictable, reasonable consequences for breaking them,
- problem solving issues that come up like struggles with morning routines, homework, after-school routines, bedtime, or whatever is most important in your home,
- assign chores,
- planning game nights, family vacations, and play dates with friends,
- planning a family budget or meal plan...
It can be about ANYTHING that anyone in the family feels is important and needs to discuss with others in the family. It's not just about the parents' agenda - children are welcome to include their problems, concerns, needs, or wishes on the list of topics to be discussed too!
It can be followed with some fun family time so no matter how stressful the meeting, the post-meeting is guaranteed time for connection with no negative repercussions. What happens at the meeting, stays at the meeting ;)