Hey Hey Hey –
I hear from those in Corporate America that they spend most of their work day in meetings, talking about having meetings, summarizing meetings, pondering if maybe they should just have a meeting. MEETINGS.
There are a few things I love about Corporate America that I encourage the couples I work with privately to “incorporate” into their own relationships and families. Shocker, it’s meetings. This is about having a predictable, consistent ritual to address stressors and needs while involving each parent in the inner workings of the family and household.
Parents are the CEOs, CFOs, COOs and all the other Cs of their families — often referred to “The C Club”. Moms, dads, caregivers may have various director and manager duties too. Kiddos are typically the “front line” employees in this metaphor.
These meetings should become a ritual in your family. Just like in a work setting, some issues are addressed in real time and some issues considered agenda items for an upcoming meeting.
Meeting type #1 – Weekly, 30 minutes.
“The C Club” private meeting about family issues that have come up in the last week. This is a high level meeting where new rules, expectations or procedures are discussed by those who run the house. For example, a major schedule change can create change in meals and carpool. I often hear moms say, “That’s just my job”, while I also hear dad’s say “I have no idea what is going on… I seem to be along for the ride”. This is a strategic meeting to get both members of the C- Club involved, supported and aware.
Meeting type #2 Weekly, 15 minutes
“The C Club” kitchen table meeting with kiddos present but equally active – they are there to witness healthy discussion and decision making (what?? YES!). This could be a time parents are seeking true input from kiddos which is then taken behind closed doors for final decisions. This could be curfew, joining additional activities after school, changing schools, raising a concern to a teacher, addressing social situations with children.
Meeting type #3 Weekly, 15 minutes
All Hands on Deck! This meeting is for the entire family and child participation is age appropriate for the children. It could be chore delegation, menu decisions, holiday preparation, praise for what is going great, gratitude, planning how to spend the “fun money” fund, planning how to save more money around the house.
Parents should also have quarterly meetings for high level discussions like school changes, job changes, long-term issues and financial decisions.
Remember: This is about having a predictable, consistent ritual to address stressors and needs while involving each parent in the inner workings of the family and household.