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Family Counseling: Family Meeting Tips
Family Counseling: How To Have a Family Meeting
In family counseling, you will learn many different communication skills that will improve your relationships with each other. And the things you learn in counseling are important. But, the work you do when you are not at therapy will make the biggest difference in the long run! If you don’t apply what you learn, it will be hard to make positive changes as a family. (Related Article: Counseling- About Marriage and Family Therapy).
How can you make sure you are applying the things you learn in your family? Today, you will learn about family meetings. You’ll also learn some strategies that will help you make the most of your next family meeting.
You and your family are busy people. It can seem like a big enough commitment to go to therapy together, much less find time for a family meeting! But your family check-in meeting doesn’t need to take hours out of your week. With the right planning and strategy, it can be quick, simple, and can help to improve your family’s communication skills. (Related Article: Family Counseling- A Family Affair).
A good first step to planning a good family meeting is to actually plan it! Pick a time a few days in advance that you know will work for your family’s schedule, even if it is a small, 30-minute window. Add it to your calendars and encourage your family members to also commit to attending. Express your interest in their involvement and hearing their thoughts.
This meeting might require some strategizing, and the right time for your family might be early in the morning before school, or later at night before bed. The time will be unique for you and your family. The important thing is that you make the “appointment” and show commitment to the family meeting. (Related article: How to Create a Stronger Family).
Creating an Agenda
I might have already lost you by just mentioning a “meeting agenda”! But don’t worry, this won’t be an in-depth agenda you might be used to planning for work or other organizations. Decide ahead of time what topics you would like to discuss at the meeting and write them down. This list doesn’t have to be detailed, complicated, or long.
For example, maybe you write down that you’d like to discuss preparing for the upcoming family vacation. Your daughter might mention that she has a game coming up and would like for you to come watch. Your spouse might mention that he needs some help cleaning up your yard this weekend and wants to see if the family can help. The subjects can be virtually anything. The goal is to make sure any concerns or topics of interest are heard by the family and can be discussed together. (Related Article: Family Counseling- How Parents are Involved).
These topics might also be more serious. Maybe your kids have been fighting a lot, and you have been working on better communication as a family. You might add to the agenda that you want to talk about how things are going and check in on the skills you’ve learned. Or maybe you talked about something in family counseling that you’d like to review again together. (Related article: How to Communicate Effectively). The family meeting gives you a great opportunity to create a culture of good communication in your home.
Lead with Positivity
A great way to set the stage for the family meeting and encourage good communication is to start by expressing appreciation for each other and your efforts. The more specific, the better! For instance, you can tell your son that you’ve noticed how patient he has been with his younger siblings lately. Or maybe your spouse thanks you for being communicative about your work schedule and delegating where you need extra help. Showing appreciation for each other and your efforts encourages trust and vulnerability during your meeting. Highlighting what’s going right is a great way to ease into more challenging problem solving situations with unity in mind. (Related article: Communication Barriers).
Looking to the Future
Another important part of your family meeting is the ending! A great way to set the tone for the following week is to have your family discuss what they need to feel loved. Inviting a discussion of your needs can help create opportunities for connection throughout the week before your next family meeting. (Source).
Family Meetings and Family Counseling Help You Grow
Your family is unique. And so are your challenges! You might be confronting some major struggles and you are looking for guidance. Or maybe you get along well enough, but you are preparing for a major life change and want extra support. No matter your family situation, you can find the advice and resources you need in family counseling. (Related Article: Family Counseling- What to Expect). Pairing family counseling and family meetings can help you and your family work through challenges as a team. Start family counseling today in Orem, South Jordan, or Spanish Fork.
Written by Lauren Adkins