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Let’s be honest… raising and leading a family is tough work. Rewarding? Absolutely! But it’s not the easiest thing in the world.
Especially since there’s not exactly a manual for how to do it well (or at all). It’s one of those things that we just work our way through as we go.
So, I can’t sit here and tell you that I have it all figured or that I have a one-size-fits-all solution for how to make your family happy from now until time.
However, what I CAN do is share with you why I believe that having weekly family meetings is a great way to give your family the chance to thrive.
Not just individually, but as a unit.
Because that’s what a family is: a group of individuals who work together as a complex whole. A family is a team.
Having weekly family meetings can help your team be a happier, more effective one!
Below, you will find 10 benefits of having weekly family meetings
It provides a safe space
Have you heard of Abraham Maslow and his Hierarchy of Needs? His theory was that in our journey toward self-actualization, humans have 5 levels of needs that must be met.
At the bottom are the most basic needs: food, water, shelter. Things that literally keep us alive. But, right above that is a need for safety. We crave it and seek it out.
One way that we can provide a feeling of safety in our home is to make sure everyone in the family feels like they’re safe to express themselves freely.
Each member of your family should be comfortable and even encouraged to speak their mind, share their thoughts and feelings, and be open about their experiences, needs, and dreams.
Hosting weekly family meetings is the perfect way to not just honor this need, but to actively and intentionally make space for it by setting aside time for everyone to express themselves.
It is a great way to resolve conflicts
Think about how many arguments could be defused (or even avoided altogether) through clear and open communication.
Not just on a familial level, but on a larger, social level. When people and groups of people can come together with the intention of not just talking, but LISTENING, so much can be achieved.
Weekly family meetings can be the perfect space and opportunity for your family to air out any grievances, address any issues, and come to a resolution that is for the greater good of everyone involved.
If you go into the family meeting with the intention of coming to a solution for anything that is causing distress, chances are you’ll get there!
Problems and challenges get addressed
I know that, on the surface, this may seem like it’s just a repeat of the last benefit, but it really deserves a mention of its own.
The reality is that the simple act of acknowledging that conflicts, tension, or dissatisfaction with the way things are, puts you ahead of the game when it comes to resolving issues.
A lot of the time, we tend to ignore, neglect, or be woefully unaware of things that are causing harm or distress for the people we love. That’s especially true when dealing with loved ones that have a habit of not being open about their struggles or challenges — for whatever reason.
It could be that they’re just more reserved when it comes to that kind of thing. Or that they don’t want to feel like they’re complaining or being sensitive or being dramatic.
But, again, when you provide them with a consistently safe space to speak up and actively encourage them to do so, it makes it more likely that they will open up and share.
And, when those problems and challenges are put out on the table, that’s when you have the chance to address them.
Get to set individual and family goals
Weekly family meetings are also a great opportunity to set goals as individuals and as a family. I personally believe that setting goals (and creating an action plan to go along with them) should be something that we all do.
By making this part of your family’s weekly agenda, you can all work toward your goals together.
It gets everyone on the same page
Another benefit of weekly family meetings is that they can be used to make sure everyone is on the same page as far as family goals, the family calendar, keeping the household running smoothly, and all the other aspects of being part of a family.
This way, no one gets left behind or caught off guard and everyone is contributing in the ways that they can.
You get to make decisions as a family
Speaking of everyone being on the same page, weekly family meetings can be the perfect space for you to make decisions about things that impact the family.
It can be something that one person in the family is struggling with figuring out or it could be something that the whole family needs to weigh in on.
Either way, it’s a beautiful thing to be able to have an open discussion about things that matter and decide, as a family, what’s the best way to proceed.
Get to see what’s working and what needs improvement
Another one of the benefits of having weekly meetings is that they can be a chance to talk about what’s working and what needs improvement. Because let’s face it — things shift as we grow. And every single person in your family will be constantly growing.
It’s an inevitability of time and us being human. So, it would be naive to expect that our individual and family needs won’t evolve as WE evolve.
Meeting weekly to have an open discussion gives your family the chance to figure out what needs to adjust (or change entirely) to keep things flowing smoothly.
It helps everyone develop life skills
As you can see from the list so far, having weekly family meetings can introduce a lot of different life skills.
Communicating our feelings and needs. Active listening. Taking turns. Empathy. Conflict resolution. Compromise. Brainstorming. Teamwork. Presentation skills. The possibilities are endless!
Get a better understanding of each other
One of the fringe benefits of all this communication is that you grow to understand each other better. Not just things like knowing each other’s likes and dislikes.
You get to understand each other’s dreams, pain points, deep needs, communication styles, love languages, strengths, weaknesses, and so much more.
It helps you connect as a family
Last, but certainly least, having weekly family meetings can be fun! I know that all of the list so far has seemed full of serious (and even heavy) things.
But family meetings don’t have to feel that way. They can be a time for you to come together and just enjoy each other’s presence.
You can play games that help you bond and get to know one another. And that, my friend, is a good enough reason for me!
I hope that as you read through the benefits of having weekly family meetings, you found that it’s something you and your family can feel excited about — rather than viewing it as just another thing on your to-do list.
Because, I promise you, when done with the intention of making sure everyone in your family is seen, heard, understood, and supported, these weekly family meetings can transform all of your lives in the best way possible.