Sunday, June 26, 2011

Our Family Meetings

One of my friends asked me what we discuss at our family meetings other than deciding the family activity for the I typed out a quick rundown and decided to share it on here in case there is anyone else wondering.

There are several different formats in the back of the accountable kids book, but the one we do though goes over the following things:

1. Accountable Kids: This basically just talks about the program...the progress for the week, any "bonus bucks" that need to be cashed in, and any areas that need work...oh and the progress on the "date" card is also acknowledged.

2. Schedules-I didn't think this would be relevant for us since our child is young and it's just the three of us, but it's really helped. We go over everything we have going on for the next week and see if there are any conflicts, etc.
 For example-we had scheduled a day at Universal Studios with all three of us, our friend Dr Sweda and Jimmy for a particular Thursday a few weeks ago (Ronnie is off on Thursdays)...because we have our meetings on Sunday, Ronnie was able to hear that and say "wait a minute-I actually have to work this Thursday" we were able to call the other two and let them know right away--normally this would have been a night before revelation :)

3. Problems & Solutions: Any problems that need to be addressed. This is where I bring up a behavior or something that someone is doing that I can't live with. Rather than being reactive, it's addressed in a calm manner and a solution is normally easily worked out. This is also where Kyle expressed to Ronnie and I that a friend of his was treating him poorly. I quickly became a fan of family meetings once I saw how it opened the "table" for discussion.
This is also where we list things that are out of the ordinary that need to be done-for example...we were piling our recycling stuff on the floor in the kitchen next to our trash can and then once a day or so taking it out to the recycling bins. This was driving Ronnie NUTSO. So in one of our meeting he brought that up and we decided we would get a separate trash can in the kitchen for recycling--most of the time we have more recyclable items than non I went to the store that week and got a trash can....first of all the expense was planned, not impulsive and it was a "problem" that we solved.

4. Family Rules-this is a time that the family rules can be questioned and discussed openly...meaning Ky won't get in trouble for questioning a rule...a lot of times he actually makes sense and has some great ideas. We decide if there are any rules that need added, removed or changed.

5. Finances. This can sometimes be very in depth...other times it's super quick. We go through anything we might need $ for for the week...i.e. family activity, cub scout activity, etc. And if it's an in depth night we will make a list of wants and needs and then categorize those lists into short term and long term. It really allows us to objectively look at what we may want to do and weigh the cost vs the benefit. It also teaches children to plan rather than be impulsive buyers.

6. Values & Virtues: We choose a value or virtue each week to focus on. Our first on was honor, another we did was courage. Kyle looks it up in the dictionary while Ronnie looks it up through scriptures in the bible. They both read them out loud and we talk about it and give some examples. We try to really go out of our way to show that value in our life that week and Kyle earns what are called "best behavior cards" when I see him genuinely showing that trait in his character. Best Behavior cards are not given if they are asked for.

That's it for ours!!
We write everything down on one of the forms in a 3 ring binder) and the following week we look back over what was discussed the previous week.-we will see if problems were solved and mark them off, etc.
Also we have a list called "Points to Discuss" that anyone can jot down at anytime something that they want to be discussed at the next meeting.

It might feel corny at first, but it builds a "team" feeling within the family unit. It's really awesome!!

This pic is really crummy because I snapped it with my phone and there wasn't much light....but you get the idea :)

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