How to have excellent family meetings! (by Lori Weckbaugh)
You know that something needs to change, because they are ignoring your message or fighting with you or their siblings.
- Children become willing to respond to messages for change when they are hearing good news
- We all want to hear what’s right with us rather than what’s wrong
- Affirmations build self-esteem and extinguish shame
- Appreciations are fun and infectionsSo… what are they?
Appreciations are something you like, admire, honor or value in or about a family member. Your Guide for Family Meetings:
- Start the meeting on same day each week, same place, even same seats!
- Start on-time (even is some are late or not willing to attend)
- Begin with appreciations
- End with appreciations
- Post a blank agenda paper on refrigerator after each weekly meeting
DIY: Chairperson for Family Meeting
- Send appreciation to the person sitting on your left or right
- They repeat what they heard and then send an appreciation to the next person
- They repeat that and send an appreciation etc. until all have finished
- Have the agenda ready; ask who would like to begin
- They identify a family member to be their “mirror”
(Mirroring is for repeating what they say. For siblings who refuse, invite them to become willing to help their sister or brother, or parent, grandparent, caregiver)
- They request a person to mirror them, and then state their agenda item
- Mirror repeat the send, and asks: “Did I get that?”
- Sender says “yes” or resends what was missed
- Mirror repeats and asks: “Did I get that?”
- “Yes?” Mirror asks “Is there more?
- Sender sends until there is no more
- Chairperson asks for another family member to state their agenda item
- Repeat above steps
- If there are no other items, go to next step
- Are there any new items for discussion?
- End by asking is there any scheduling for events, news or other family business
- Close meeting with person who last received an appreciation, they send in opposite direction, each appreciation is repeated as before
- Chair close with global appreciation for family’s willingness to create safety for the family.Over time this format will yield results. It may take a few weeks or months, however if it is repeated every week without fail, and if the format is adhered to without fail, appreciations for safety will grow and become expected.
Hope for your family: I have been conducting these meetings for over 30 years, and I have witnessed family grow and thrive with this method of safe communication.
Appreciations are golden nuggets in your family’s garden.
All you have to do is pan for the gold and pick them up!
For more information contact Lori at Snow Leopard Counseling: http://snowleopardcounseling.net