FOTF-Logo-Stretch-Color.png
Search
Themes Covered:  

Blended Family Meetings

There is value in regularly scheduled time with your family.

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

When Ray and I were dating, our four children got along great. Our lives were filled with adventure and excitement. Then came the day when Ray and I said, “I do.” Once the ink was dry on the marriage certificate, our children began drawing boundary lines: “My room.” “My toys.” “We always do it this way.” Our families did not blend together as much as they bashed into one another.

On one especially frustrating day, Ray and I decided to hold a family meeting. A good idea, but one that quickly went awry. With no structure in place, arguments flared. Everyone walked away feeling more upset than when we started.

Even with that rocky start, we could see the value in a regularly scheduled time to give our kids a voice, a chance to actively participate in the blending of our families. So we started scheduling family meetings.

These meetings have become an important part of our family culture. While we’ve had some rough moments, we’ve learned how to make these times more productive:

Develop an agenda

Whether formal or informal, set up a general outline for the conversation. Ask each family member what he or she would like to discuss. Talk through events and schedules. Celebrate accomplishments, and share in hardships. Settle disagreements.

Keep it positive

Family meetings should be constructive and rewarding. They are not a place for put-downs or anger. Complimenting each family member is a good way to begin. Prayer is a great way to end.

Watch the time

Keep your meetings short — no longer than 30 minutes. Everyone will have a more positive attitude toward these meetings if they end on time. (Small children may get bored easily; try giving them paper and crayons.)

Keep track of the discussion

In a family notebook, jot down what is discussed and decided. At the next meeting, if an item was left unsettled, you’ll be able to pick up where you left off. While brainstorming, appoint an older child to write ideas on a whiteboard.

Give everyone a voice

As parents, you’ll facilitate the meeting, giving every family member an opportunity to share. Remember that, in order to accept change, children need to be able to ask questions, to talk and to share feelings.

Be creative

Think of ways to keep meetings fresh. Make smoothies or hold a meeting on blankets in the backyard. To encourage orderly discussion, consider passing around a toy microphone or wooden spoon, giving each family member the “floor” to speak.

Family meetings don’t have to be perfect; there will inevitably be some glitches. But by giving your children a safe forum where their voice is heard, you’ll better equip them to navigate their lives together.

Debbie Alsdorf and her husband, Ray, are the authors of Beyond the Brady Bunch: Hope and Help for Blended Families.

 

About the Author

Read More About:

You May Also Like

teens spiritual gifts. Teenage girl hugging her father from behind who is reading the bible
Family Roles & Relationships

Your Teen’s Spiritual Gifts

Help your teens discover their spiritual gifts as a means for helping them gain direction in their life.

freedom in Christ
Family Roles & Relationships

Freedom in Christ

Here are faith activities to teach kids about freedom through our relationship with Jesus.

Helping your kids have a positive mindset
Behavioral/Emotional

Helping Our Kids Grow and Keep a Positive Mindset

Today’s kids face new challenges and ask questions our kids didn’t have to two decades ago. But God has provided every answer and truth to help them have a positive mindset and turn adversity into an adventure.