Jan 28, 2020
Brian Mayer talks about the dreaded family meeting. You
have all kinds of chaos between your spouse, the ex-kids, the kids,
and the stepkids. You are saying one thing, your spouse is
saying another, you had various kids arguing and fighting with each
other. It probably feels like everyone is being pulled into
many directions. Let’s talk about what to do and what not to
do in a family meeting. We hope you enjoy today’s
message. For more information and additional resources please
visit our website at http://www.theremarriedlife.com
- You have probably had those moments where chaos is
reigning in the home. No one is listening to anyone
and you feel like you are losing your group and can’t keep
it. Sometimes it feels like the dam that has sprung so many
leaks that it is just humanly impossible to contain it
- You do your best to have discussions with your
spouse to work on alleviating the issues. You probably
separately pull aside each child to get their version of
events. You have discussions with an ex-spouse about helping
you handle the kids.
- You do all of this and nothing changes, no one
seems to listen and maybe situations get worse. So what in
the world do you do?
- Like lots of people you could say, “you know I’ve been divorced
before, and made it through.” “I can do it again.” We
have all been there for sure even in our subsequent
marriages. We get so angry and so frustrated that we
just think wouldn’t life be so much easier if I was on my
- Often though we can’t because as a human species, we
were built for companionship and so we want to keep working at
it. Which is surely a good thing but maybe you are
going about it in the wrong way.
- Rather than trying to work on issues separately, have
you ever thought about trying out a family meeting? I can
already hear the groans, because you may have been through
something like this before and know that everyone hates them.
Parents hate feeling like the bad guy and the kids don’t want to
listen and feel like they are being piled on.
- So let’s talk about some new and different ways to
handle a family meeting. Here are some helpful tips
that might make your meetings go much better than ones that you
have had before.
- Hold them somewhat regularly. In doing
so it because a bit more routine and it takes the sting or fear in
doing them. I mean if you only schedule them when there is a
crisis or something hits the proverbial fan then of course your
family won’t like them. Weekly seems like a lot so maybe
monthly to start and then adjust from there.
- Start the meeting by celebrating the
good! Make sure that throughout the month you
tracking the good that you, your spouse, and your kids are doing
whether it be in interactions, chores, homework, academic or sports
achievements. Then work to highlight as least one positive
for each person.
- Spend some time talking about the family news and let
everyone process together. For example maybe grandma
has gotten ill and the family had to make the decision to help her
enter into assisted living. Have the family talk about this
and what it has been like. Even discussing what she might
mean to each family member can sometimes be helpful in connecting
- Talk about the bad. This is the area
that most people think of when it comes to family meetings.
This has certainly been true for a long time. Usually the
only time gatherings are called impromptu are when something has
figuratively blown up. If this is all the meeting consists of
you can bet emotions will run high and you might even deal with
shutting down. But chances are better in this area if the bad
only takes part of the meeting
- Allow for each person to share something good that
happened and something they struggle with. You will
of course get your introverted child that won’t want to share and
that is okay. Keep offering it up every time.
- When someone is sharing especially a struggle, ask them
if they need help solving the struggle. If they say
yes I need help, then throw it out to the group to see what others
might suggest. This can help build teamwork and
- Rotate who leads. This is simply one
person facilitating moving the discussion from one subject to the
- Talk about goals. What meeting would be
complete without talking about the future of each individual and
the future of the family unit.
- Involve Food! What meeting would be
complete without having some food. Maybe you could revolve
dinner around the meeting or even just some snacks. You could
get creative and have one person come with something to make for
- Have Fun.
- If you give these things a try, your discussions will hopefully
go much better. It could take some time though so be sure to
- And then of course have fun with it!
Thanks For Listening!
With so many things that take time in our lives, I am more
grateful than you know that you took time to listen to this podcast