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The Remarried Life


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

Today's Goodies

  • 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 all. 
  • 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 own? 
  • 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 everyone.
    • 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 connection. 
    • Rotate who leads.  This is simply one person facilitating moving the discussion from one subject to the next. 
    • 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 the meeting. 
    • 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 be patient. 
  • And then of course have fun with it! 

Resources:

  • None Mentioned

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 episode.