A football coach wouldn’t think of going through a season without holding regular team meetings. His players are busy, going in a hundred different directions. The coaches meet and have specific issues everyone needs to know. Team meetings allow coaches to cast vision, to give out awards, to give updates, to go over team rules, to explain changes, to take care of any team drama, and the list goes on.
Coaches wouldn’t consider a season
without “family” meetings!
Similarly we believe parents need to meet with their team on a regular basis. In our “team” meetings we pass on a vision for our family to the kids. It allows us to celebrate recent successes. Remember, what gets celebrated gets repeated! We update the kids on the family calendar (especially as they get older and start having lives of their own). It also gives us an opportunity to address challenges we might be facing as a family or with disciplinary issues. We ask the question, “What kind of a family do we want to have?” It gives our kids a chance to speak into who we are.
But the most important reason for holding regular family meetings has nothing to do with disseminating information or teaching or correcting and everything to do with creating a sense of belonging. We know the great lure of gangs isn’t as much about drugs and money as it is about being a part of something, a family. In the same way, family meetings are one of the great tools we use to convey to our kids, “You are an important part of something special. You belong to this family and this family belongs to you!”
Family meetings help create a sense of
“belonging” in our family!
We’ve posted a Family Meeting worksheet on our Pritchard Ministries website. It explains some of the practical “how to’s” of conducting family meetings. We suggest when your kids are young to have them often and keep them short. We’ve been know on occasion (not often) to have our meeting over an ice cream cone at McDonalds. Sometimes Kelli will end a meeting with a treat. When our kids were young it was easy… we’d yell up the stairs and say, “family meeting in the living room… five minutes.” As our kids got older, they requested a little more notice. So now David texts the kids, “we’d like to have a family meeting Thursday night at 7pm. See you there unless I hear from you.” It takes some effort, but regardless of how many or how few children you have, family meetings can be an effective tool in your parenting journey. We’d love to hear stories from your family meetings!