Host a Family Meeting
Stay focused on your priorities!
Meeting for just 20 to 30 minutes each week will help your family stay connected, work as a team, and keep your family calendar from veering out of control. Plus, you'll strengthen empathy muscles by making time each week to share your joys and sorrows, swap chores and responsibilities, and reflect on how family life is going.
Why it matters
Regular family meetings will help your school-aged children understand family values, learn problem-solving skills, and strengthen empathy-muscles.
Gather in a comfortable space and remind everyone why you are gathering. You may want to say something like "Let's take the next few minutes to get ourselves focused and ready for the next week."
Follow the Family Meeting Agenda conversation starters and planning chart.
Help family members brainstorm items for their chart including:
something they will work hard on (set a goal for the week)
a meal they will help prepare
a daily chore they will complete (parents should offer options)
something that brings them joy (a favorite game or activity they would like to make time for during the week)
a kindness to share (if you need ideas revisit our Quick Acts of Kindness section)
Cut apart your daily planner sheets and fill them out for each of the coming days. If you already keep a daily planner, write your big-hearted goals into your own calendar.
Post your goals and your daily planner as a reminder for the week ahead.
Set a time for you next family meeting.
(to complete a week after your first meeting)
- Do you feel last week's family meeting made a difference for you this week?
- What went well?
- What can we improve?
The International Cookbook for Kids by Matthew Locricchio. Ages 8 and up. Create family time in the kitchen and inspire kids to eat adventurously with this creative cook book.
The Kids' Cook Monday! an online tool designed to lure kids into the kitchen and teach healthy cooking skills.
- Berenstain Bears: The Trouble with Chores by Stan and Jan Berenstain. Ages 4-8. This classic family still has many lessons to teach. Imagine what would happen if no one did their chores!
Take it further
- Take turns using our printable Family Meeting Agenda to lead the meeting. Children may feel more committed to participating in the meetings if they have a chance to lead one now and then.
- Forge ahead even when kids are reluctant. If parents begin the conversation and model how a successful family meeting could go, kids will often be motivated to participate.
- Celebrate successful weeks. Not all goals will be met each week. But when they are, make it a point to celebrate. A simple round of hot chocolates or a family dance party can give kids a rewarding pat on the back.
Ready to do more? Check out our tips for Quick Acts of Kindness!
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The recommendations we offer are based solely on our mission to empower parents to raise children who care and contribute.