Marriage Advice and the Importance of Regular Family Meetings
5 Reasons To Maintain Regular Family Meetings
Dear April Masini,
I've been reading some books lately that discuss the importance of family meetings -- especially between parents and teenagers. Are they really all that important? I have teenage children and there are days where I don't talk with them at all because they are busy with their activities and me with mine. Is this something I should consider?
Sincerely, Meeting Mummy"
April Masini's Advice :
Dear Meeting Mummy,
Family meetings are certainly something that you should consider. The importance of family meetings is:
* Family members get a chance to be heard. Many times teens and tweens as well as parents and younger children don’t feel like they are heard. Therefore, it’s really important to listen during these meetings.
* Family meetings re-establish the structure of the family. It is important for the head of household to run the meetings and the co-parent or second in command, however a particular family is structured, to be recognized as such. Families need order — especially in an ever more chaotic world.
* Grievances can be expressed in an ordered environment. Expressing displeasure this way allows for an absence of a blow up during the regular course of the day. Others in the family can chime in in agreement, dissonance and offer solutions or options to problems.
* Planning. Family vacations, rituals, events, and other matters that are on the calendar can be aired, planned and opinions heard in this forum. This gives families a sense of cohesiveness and interest.
* Forced communication. As ugly as it may seem, the reality is that tweens and teens individuate from parents, and sometimes that process takes the form of rebellion and outspokenness or bad behavior. A family meeting forces the family to be present and communicate. Even if it’s ugly.