I grew up hearing this phrase in the athletic world, but it wasn’t until I became a Chief Household Officer that I fully grasped the meaning of “Teamwork makes the dream work.” Think about it: Without teamwork, there is no dream moving forward…just a burnt out person trying to do it all on their own!
A family is the ultimate team in my opinion; however, we often don’t treat it as so. We get angry when our family members are not helping out. We become frustrated when they don’t seem to understand the end goals, like getting out the door on time, but we rarely do anything to fix it. Sure, a wall calendar helps for those who can read, but it quickly blends in with the wall it’s on.
So, how do we create a teamwork feel in a family so that it becomes the ultimate team?
My answer is family meetings.
I promise it is this simple, yet so many of us run away from anything that involves scheduled time with our family talking about “issues.” That’s where we have it all wrong. Family meetings are not focused on issues or problems. Family meetings are a way to get everyone on the same page, create a space for open communication, and build trust through accountability and routine.
The Top 3 Benefits to having Family Meetings
Let’s take a deeper dive into these 3 benefits, so you better understand how family meetings can create positive change in your family quickly:
1. Get everyone on the same page
Have you ever had the experience where you feel like you told your partner the schedule for the week, but they seem to have forgotten it all? You are left running around getting things done on your own. What about continually having to repeat to your kid the chore you asked them to do two days before? It leaves you wondering if you need to write it in big letters on the wall so they see it when they walk in the door? I can’t tell you how many families I have worked with that have struggled with one or both of these issues on a regular basis. Guess what: the bitterness that grows from those two situations above affect how we see our partner and our kids and the connection we have to each other.
Ok, so how could family meetings improve getting everyone on the same page? They do this by creating a routine in your family of talking about plans and creating plans together. Let’s say I meet with my family every Monday. We go over our schedule for the week, create a strategy to stay on the same page, and talk through potential conflicts. The routine becomes habit as we continue to do this every Monday. Then it is less likely that my family members will forget the meeting or the weekly game-plan.
2. Create a space for communication in the family meetings
This point is where people tend to go the wrong route with family meetings. Open communication can turn into “vent fests” because one or both parents don’t know how to guide their family members from frustration to resolution. Let’s be honest, many of us struggle to do this on our own. Creating a space for open communication in your family meetings to share positives and negatives gives each family member a chance to be heard. Let me repeat that: Each family member gets a chance to be heard.
In a society today that doesn’t always listen to kids, your kids will weekly have a space where they know they will be heard. If you and/or your partner feel like your kids are not listening throughout the week, creating space for open communication through family meetings engages them differently than what may come across as “nagging” throughout the week. I teach that this space for open communication during a family meeting is focused on “issues” that have occurred throughout the week with other family members. It is geared towards sharing to create resolution.
3. Build trust through accountability and routine
Why do so many kids trust their teachers and coaches? Two words: accountability and routine. The adults are there. They show up, they care, and the kids know what to expect from them. Our goal in creating regular family meetings is exactly that: to build trust in our family by showing up, showing we care, and being consistent. Creating a time each week that your family can come together creates a healthy and positive routine that everyone can depend on. The accountability created by each week reviewing the week before and checking in on what changes can be made and what support family members need builds trust as well.
The Successful Family Meeting Guide
Family meetings create an atmosphere of teamwork, and without teamwork, we are doing it all alone, creating a divide in our family. You may still have a lot of questions on how to start having family meetings or how to handle challenges you may face during family meetings. I created a resource guide for families who are ready to start making family meetings a part of their weekly routine. The Successful Family Meeting Guide is a 25 page eBook that:
- step by step instructions on how to hold family meetings
- shares experiences and advice from families who have family meetings
- gives ideas on how to handle challenges you may face
- provides bonus tips for what to do in situations like when your family is on vacation or a family member can’t be present
Not only does the guide include all that, but it also has workbook pages for planning what family meetings will look like for your family and worksheets to guide you during your first 3 meetings. As a bonus, I added in information and worksheets on how to create your very own family mission statement because this is the cherry on top to creating a team focus in your home. We all know why we are doing what we are doing when we have a mission statement.
Plus, no guide would be complete without a video training that teaches you how to have couples check-ins too. I have added this resource for FREE!
Family meetings are the key to making the phrase “Teamwork makes the dream work” a reality in your home. Here’s to healthier positive connections in our homes!