The first leaves have fallen and the chaos has officially begun, school is back in session folks! The break is over, summer vacations are nothing more than a Polaroid memory, and for most of you, your time to take center stage for the infamous juggling act has arrived!

Among the midst of school, sports and extracurricular activities it helps to have a little organization. What better way to get organized than by identifying everyone’s role in the household? Many times it is easy to forget that our youth have an impact in the household and their opinions are often overlooked when it comes to making family decisions. By empowering young people with meaningful roles we can significantly impact their mental and behavioral well-being primarily by; raising their engagement, boosting their self-efficacy and decreasing delinquent behaviors.

So parents – do you want to know a great way to empower your youth?  It’s simple…family meetings!

Implementing a weekly family meeting means that everyone in the household is involved. By engaging everyone, you can discuss important topics such as:

  • calendar of events for the week
  • family business
  • chores
  • allowance
  • and of course, who can forget the most important part.. family treats!

For many of us, sitting down and beginning a conversation can seem awkward, especially if it’s not familiar. That doesn’t mean you can’t hold a family meeting, it just means you adapt your meeting to make it comfortable for your family. The most important thing to remember is that the atmosphere should be inviting and open so that family members look forward to the meeting and sharing in it.

There are two things that are important to remember when getting started. First, always begin and end the family meeting with something positive. Start the meeting by sharing compliments with one another; thanking someone for their help or encouraging an improvement made since the last meeting. Remember to end the meeting with a family treat. Maybe you plan a family fun night, sing karaoke or go out for ice cream! Second, share the leader role with everyone in the family – parents this means that you step out of that adult persona and allow your children to step up.

You may be wondering, “Why should I begin holding a family meeting?” Well prepare to be sold folks! Family meetings can:

  • Boost family cooperation
  • Decrease family conflict
  • Raise household organization
  • Reduce the likelihood of last minute crises
  • Increase mutual respect & love

You may be thinking, “I’m busy enough as it is and don’t have time for this!” If so, there is an important part you’re missing.

Family meetings will increase the cohesion and boost productivity for your household – NOT take away from it. The catch is you have to commit to them. We all know that investments, when made the right way, can pay off. So we challenge you to take the time to invest in your family and believe it is worth the gamble, because the payoff will be incomparable to any lottery winning you could imagine.