Believe you me if you do not want the scenario I just experienced try «family meetings», especially when there are teenagers around!
I learned this parenting tool from Lynn Lott herself at Encouragement Consultant Training courses held in Barcelona [September 2018] when we role played parenting tools. The interesting twist I have just learned from the Certified PD Parent Educator online training course is that some families might prefer to use the term «problem-solving meetings» if that suits them all best. This is actually our own case.
It was interesting to experience at Kristian Orozco and Lynn Lott’s training course how members of the family would act, what they would say or how they may solve a problem during the family meeting I role played with other participants in Barcelona. These were the steps we followed on that occasion.
To proceed with the following guidelines you will need to have kept an Agenda where every member of the family would have written down «problems» that have come up during the week. Sometimes by simply noting down an issue on the Agenda the tension goes and by the time the meeting takes place it may have got solved naturally.
Procedure for Family / Problem-solving Meetings:
- Each member shares how s/he feels at that moment to be part of the family [check Feeling Faces chart].
- Appreciations and Compliments to only one member of the family [Thank you for helping me with homework; I appreciate that you came to the supermarket today].
- Follow the points in the Agenda, each person shares what they feel in reference to the first item on the agenda without the need to have to resolve in the moment. Then continue with the second item, the third, etc.
- Again share a feeling of how it feels to be part of the family.
- Do something fun together as a family.
At each meeting, the person taking notes indicates whether the problem was resolved or postponed until the next meeting. Obviously not everything is postponed especially if someone needs to solve the problem. But many times simply sharing a feeling will shift things during the week.