This time of year can be a busy time for military families and with changing schedules and new routines the calendar can feel even more hectic. Scheduling a family meeting helps you take control of the family calendar by providing an opportunity for you to discuss expectations, upcoming events, and set goals.

Family carrying CanoeHere are a few things to remember when you hold your family meeting:

1. Create rules for the family meeting. Have each person in the family make suggestions on what kind of rules they think would be helpful during family meetings. Include things like: only one person talks at a time, no phones or video games at the table, and respect each other’s thoughts and opinions.

2. Everyone should get to share. Family meetings are not just a time for mom and dad to set all plans, but a time for the whole family to talk about what kind of activities they want to do. Family meetings are also a great place to share and discuss any conflicts siblings are having with one another in order to come up with a solution – like not leaving wet towels on the bathroom floor, or picking up dirty clothes.

3. Keep it positive. When family members have different opinions on where the family should go on their next vacation or what type of movie to watch, remind them to keep their comments and suggestions positive and to work together toward a solution. If they are having a hard time doing that, take a break for a few minutes and then come back and try again.

4. Finish with fun. End the meeting with a fun family activity. This helps build family closeness and gives everyone something to look forward to. This would be a great time to create a craft, like making the family collage

FOCUS

The FOCUS program is designed for military families, couples and children facing ongoing stress and change. It is easily customized to meet the unique needs of each family, couple, or group in order to help them achieve their personal and relationship goals. These blog posts from real FOCUS Families describe their experiences with the program.