About three months into our relationship, we had a problem. I couldn’t figure it out, she couldn’t figure it out. It was incredibly confusing. I would say something and she would take it the wrong way and claim that it was something completely different. We had our wires crossed somewhere and neither of us had the faintest idea what was going on.
Do you ever find yourselves just plugging along in your relationships with your family without thinking much about anything and then all of the sudden something comes up that catches you completely off guard? This is what was happening to us. It wan’t one major thing, it was a combination of things.
We reached out to some other couples for advice and they recommend doing what is called a family meeting. “But we are just 2 of us!” Sarah said. Does two people make a family? Here was their answer: family meetings could be had as a couple because it sets a great foundation for having them when your family starts to grow!
“Okay” we said. We’ll try it! Sure enough we had so much to process through that our family meeting went for 3 hours! We both had no idea how things were going with each other because we weren’t taking any time to process things that were happening. This was the beginning of something we have done almost every week from that point on: the family meeting.
What is a family meeting?
The concept is simple but the rewards are huge. Think of it as the equivalent of an oil change for your car, or a regular cleaning of the vacuum cleaner. Whenever anything complex does what it’s created to do; it requires maintenance. Family meetings are a weekly way for couples to get together and take proactive steps to help bring to order the chaos of the coming week.
What’s does a family meeting look like?
Family meetings are great because every couple can customize it according to their needs. Pick a day to have it each week that works for your household. It might look something like this:
How am I doing as a husband/father? (husbands should always start, and lead by example)
- Example: Positive-Helping with cleaning up around the house. Area to improve-communication around when I’m coming home.
How am I doing as a wife/mother?
- Example: Positive-Being emotionally supportive during my job search. Area to improve-Need more clean socks
What is coming up this week (day by day calendar)
- Logistical needs, Doctors appointments, Soccer Games, Times to come home
- How are the kids doing
- Financial Questions.
That’s it! You can add or take away anything from that as your family sees fit. Eventually this will lead into discussions that include the kids bringing in their input and their needs.
What are the benefits?
- It creates a place of safety where husbands and wives can give each other honest and encouraging feedback.
- Helps wives and children feel understood because their father/ husband is being intentional
- It encourages humility by helping everyone see how their actions impact the rest of the family
- It creates an open environment for discussion about how the family is functioning
- Creates a context for teaching principles and for public praise of one another
- Helps a father lead their family well and be informed in the process.
- Removes any surprises when it comes to upcoming expenses
- Get’s couples thinking long-term
- Deepens the martial bond
- Deepens the family bond
What if you’ve never done it?
Family meetings aren’t complicated, but they can be work. Sometimes you just don’t want to have the meeting. Actually today I didn’t feel like having a family meeting. But I knew it was important and knew I would appreciate it afterwards.
There is no wrong time to start a family meeting, the only way to do a family meeting wrong is to not have one. Even if all you do is talk about what you have coming up in your week, that’s a start!
Please message me if you need any ideas for how to start one or any questions you have. I’m passionate about personal and family growth and I'm completely an open book. I’m not saying I have all the answers but I very much would love to come alongside anyone who’d like to give this a go.