Family meetings are a great way to include everyone in the decision-making process. While sensitive issues can—and most likely will—be addressed, family meetings also provide a time for members to focus on being a family. Here are some benefits of holding your own family meetings:
Because family meetings give everyone a voice, they build children’s self-esteem. Children are treated like valued members of the family whose ideas are listened to and considered.
The skills children learn in family meetings, such as compromise, openness to other’s ideas and cooperation, will help them to deal effectively with problems they encounter in other situations and social settings.
By participating in family meetings, children learn to take the perspective of the whole group and to think of what is good for the family as a whole, not just themselves.
Family meetings counterbalance the hectic lives that today’s parents and children lead—the technological distractions of smartphones and video games, extra-curricular activities, and school and work pressures all pull family members in different directions.
Family meetings ground families and encourages connections and identity. They can send a message that family time is important and is a priority.
Family meetings provide a platform for conflicts to be addressed and for problems to be resolved in a way that feels fair to everyone. Parent set the limits of what is acceptable, but everyone has input.
Children learn to examine situations, propose solutions, evaluate results with guidance, support and demonstrations from their parents and older siblings. They begin to see themselves as capable of finding solutions to problems.
Family meetings provide the opportunity for information to be shared equally with everyone.