- August 10, 2016
- Posted by: Dale W. Vernon
- Category: Communication, Education, Listening, Parenting
By utilizing family meetings and huddles, you can live your family values, bring your family together, and establish a culture of communication.
The several months that Monica and I spent coming together and developing a set of values brought us closer together, but it was only the first step to improving our family life. We were anxious to share our values with our children in a focused way as quickly as possible, but we had trouble finding the time.
We thought a family dinner might be the perfect opportunity.
The family dinner is a great idea in theory, but for my family, it just wasn’t feasible. Work, life, and school commitments keep us all moving in different directions, and though Monica and I are committed to having family dinners as often as possible, we only seem to actually pull that off a few nights a week.
We needed a different plan. Perhaps family meetings were the answer.
That idea got me jacked up. If there is anything I know how to do, it’s how to run a meeting! It’s a daily ritual for me in my professional life, and I pride myself in being short, efficient, and productive. In my mind, these meetings would be the perfect opportunity to discuss family values with the kids.
Monica, who always chastises me for treating our family like my business, was, understandably, hesitant. I promised Monica that the meetings would be short and well-organized, so she agreed to give it a try. We were on our way.
Defining and Reinforcing Your Family Values
Our initial family meetings were led by me, and they were parent-focused, agenda-driven, repetitive, and dictatorial. And they didn’t work.
We needed to make the meetings less formal, more fun, and more engaging for the children. And when Monica took the lead — utilizing her “teacher’s touch” — we began to see the results we desired. The key was that we were talking as a family, and were more aware of what was going on, both in each other’s lives and in the world.
Over time, family values became a framework for a common language within our family. The family meetings and huddles are the way that we gather together. In creating this habit, we have become a closer, more cohesive family.
Try it with your family. But, before you schedule your first family meeting, download these Discussion Guides, ensuring you always define and reinforce your family values throughout the meetings.