A months ago when the girls were really causing me a lot of stress Kevin came up with the idea of having a weekly family meeting. That way we could address any problems and discuss possible solutions and hopefully come up with an outcome that everyone is happy with.
I set up a bowl with blank paper and pen so that anyone can write down things of concern during the week.
Then as we have dinner on a Monday night I read out the notes from last weeks meeting (which are written up in a notebook) and we discuss that.
We then go through the papers one by one discussing them and anything else anyone wants to raise. Our first meeting took FOREVER (remember this when they were driving me mad) but we’re now down to 15 – 30mins or so. Most of the issues are to deal with kids mess or kids behaviour and we try not to get angry or frustrated but instead ask them how the issue could/should be resolved. Amy tends to get very defensive and feels like we’re picking on her but I think that’s just the tween stage. This week I raised the issue of pocket money – so it’s not all negatives. Last week Amy wanted to be able to do homework in the scrapbook/computer room when needed (with no one else in the room) – this was agreed to.
I think as kids get older and less time is spent together that this meeting is a great way to resolve any conflict within the family. And it gives everyone a say in the decisions made. We hold our meetings weekly on a Monday night but you could do so any night, or even have a fortnightly or monthly meeting. I believe keeping written notes is crucial because when the kids disagree with me about something we decided, I can consult the notes and remind them what the decision was.
If you decide to hold a family meeting please let me know how it goes.