Three Minute Parenting Playbook - Family Meetings
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Build Connection and Cooperation With Your Family Meeting Agenda
Hi, everyone. Heidi Rogers here for your 3 Minute Parenting Playbook Tip of the Day.

Today's play is a great way to build connection within the family, encourage cooperation, and decrease competition among siblings. My favorite way to do that - and the favourite of a lot of the parenting gurus out there – is family meetings. And so, I'm going to give you today's agenda.

This is the family meeting agenda that I use with my kids and my home, and I teach to a lot of my clients that improves the general harmony in an environment, the vibe at home. The acronym that I use is FAMILY, F-A-M-I-L-Y. We'll be going through those six letters and what they each mean.

The reason behind family meetings is basically, it's one day of the week. We do ours on Sunday nights. You can do them whenever you want that works for you all. But it's one night a week where we come together, it's sort of a reminder that being on our team, being in our family is cool. We do fun stuff. We hang out together and I've heard from a lot of my clients that have adolescents, that this was one of the techniques or strategies that surprised them that as their kids got older, they thought they wouldn't be into it, but they were into it because the key is you keep it fun, and kids love fun.

Here we go... F is for flattery. You start the meeting off by giving compliments and dishing out to people what they did awesome that week or what you appreciate about them that week, or have they helped a sibling or something like that so they're kind of ... catch them being good, which everyone loves being praised for stuff that they've done well.

A is for agenda this week, so we might go over logistics of pick up and drop off and who's going to be where and who has soccer practice or a birthday party or whatever.

M is matters to decide. That could be anything from something little to who's going to pick you up from soccer on Wednesday to something like 'what are we having for dinner?' or 'what tiles should we put in the bathroom if we're doing a renovation?' or 'where should we go on our next holiday? Should we go camping? Or should we go stay at Nan and Pop's house in somewhere else?'

The point of that is not to communicate that you can make decisions about the next holiday we go on, but more that your opinion matters, that I consult you, I ask you. You're enough. You're lovable. You're important to me, so I want to know what you think, not necessarily going to take it into account. But it's just I demonstrate that you matter and your choices and opinions matter to me.

I is issues, so this is the smallest part of the whole thing. Okay, I'm talking like five minutes where we talk about stuff that we could have tweaked that could have improved this week but we don't spend much time here at all.

L is for learn, so that could be where you teach them something, how to make a lasagna, how to say politely, 'no, thank you' when someone offers you green beans at their house for dinner or whatever ... just polite. You can teach them different stuff like that, so those are opportunities for teachable moments.

And then, Y is for yes, which is just fun and having fun and playing a game, watching a movie, being silly together. It's a bonding time where you do something fun.

That is my Parenting Play in under three minutes. I hope that was helpful and I'll see you next time!