« September 2009 | Main | November 2009 »

The Family Meeting: How to Improve Grades, Homework, and Family Life

Do your children avoid homework? Would they rather relax and watch television? Find out how family meetings can promote grades, homework, and family life.

“Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve.” - Roger Lewin

Many families rush to sports, music lessons, and other appointments. When there are too many daily events the family feels scattered, out of touch with each other, and cranky. Homework slides. If this happens in your home, consider the family meeting.

The Family Meeting

Discuss the best time for homework at the family meeting. Schedule homework time. Get the children involved. Listen to their suggestions for the following:

·     Will study time be before or after dinner?

·     When to check that the homework is correct and neat?

·     Will TV or computer games be allowed after homework is checked?

·     Will there be rewards for doing the homework well, like game time with you?

Getting children to solve when to do their homework promotes their cooperation. It helps them experience the good feeling of being organized. They’ll get better grades too. Why not use the family meeting to improve homework, grades, and family life?

Want more help with family meetings? Get Jean’s ready-made notebook, the Family Meeting Diary at http://www.kidsdiscuss.com/parent_resource_center.asp?pr_id=kd006 and keep track of all your meetings. You’ll love reading about your family’s successes.


How to Use the Family Meeting to Build Family Love

Do your kids dread family meetings? Do they fear getting scolded for things they did wrong? Look inside for a special way to use the family meeting to build family love.

“The quickest way for a parent to get a child’s attention is to sit down and look comfortable.”  - Lane Olinhouse

Try This Family Love Builder

If you’d like your kids to sigh, roll their eyes and complain, start your family meetings with crabby looks and criticisms. But if you’d like your kids to smile, start it with compliments. Each person in the family compliments the others and then him or herself. Here are some sample compliments:

The Family Meeting

·     Andy, I liked how patient you were when we waited in line

·     Daniela, I smiled when you asked the new girl to play

·     Kelly, I’m pleased that you’re brushing your teeth after meals

·     Jerry, you have a creative imagination and the story you just wrote proved it

·     Dad, I like when you laugh at my jokes

·     Mom, I have fun cooking with you

I always looked forward to hearing my boys praise me. It made me feel loved and appreciated. You and your kids will love hearing compliments  too.

Avoid Negative Endings

When you start your meetings with compliments, you’ll need to teach your children how to give them. A compliment should only include positive praise. Avoid negative endings like:

·     Dad, l like when you laugh at my jokes because I know you're  actually listening to me

·     Mom, I have fun cooking with you when you’re not cranky

·     Kelly, I’m pleased you’re brushing your teeth after meals because your breath doesn’t smell as bad

 

Use the Family Meeting to Build Family Love

 

Sit down with your family. Look comfortable. Start the family meeting with compliments. You’ll be setting a positive tone for the rest of the meeting.

 

Your children will learn how to give praise too.

 

How do you start your family meetings?

 

Jean Tracy, MSS, invites you to subscribe to her Free Parenting Newsletter  at http://www.KidsDiscuss.com and receive 80 fun activities to share with your kids.


Family Meetings ~ The Secret of Dealing with Bullies

Is there a bully hurting your child? Does he poke fun of your child in front of others? Does he hit? Look inside to find out how the family meeting can help.

“The most important thing that parents can teach their children is how to get along without them. – Frank A. Clark

How the Family Meeting Can Help Your Child Deal with Bullies

How do you know when to step in? What should you do first? Consider starting with the family meeting. Of course if the bully is physically abusing your child, you must step in.

Imagine gathering the family together and discussing the bully. Go around the room asking for information. Let each child speak. Make sure no one interrupts or hogs the conversation. Discuss the following:

·     Find out what the bully does to your child

·     Ask if your child wants help

·     What do the other siblings think should be done

·     Who thinks the school authorities should be told

·     Make a plan for dealing with the bully that your child accepts

Kids love helping each other deal with problems. They don’t want bullies hurting their brothers or sisters. They also have the power to come up with great solutions. Your bullied child will feel the family support too. What a special way to bring the family close together!

How does your family deal with bullies? Share your solutions below.

Additional Help:

Solve problems together! Let my Family Meeting Book

 be your guide. Pick up my Family Meeting Diary at http://www.kidsdiscuss.com/parent_resource_center.asp?pr_id=kd006 


Family Values ~ How Kids Discuss Cheating in the Family Meeting

Have your kids been ever caught cheating? If you teach family values, do you wonder what happened? Look inside for an easy way to get your kids to discuss cheating and build strong family values.

“Life affords no greater responsibility, no greater privilege, than the raising of the next generation.” – C.Everet Koop, M.D.

Use the Family Meeting:

Get your kids to discuss their ideas about cheating. The family meeting is the perfect place to talk. Go around the table and ask what each person thinks.

Discussion Questions to Ask You Children:

1.   Why do kids cheat at school? What do they want?

2.   How would a teacher know if a child cheated?

3.   What do teachers think of kids who cheat?

4.   What do classmates think of cheaters?

5.   Why is cheating the wrong thing to do?

6.   How would you feel if you cheated? Why?

7.   How can a person stop cheating?

Statistics on Cheating:

Parents, research tells us that cheating starts in junior high school. By college 75 to 98 percent of college students admit to having cheated in high school (Educational Testing Service Ad Council).

The time to discuss cheating and promote your values is now. Why not use the Family Meeting? You’ll be glad you did. You’ll be raising children with character too.

How do you teach your kids not to cheat? Let us know below.

I invite you to receive 80 Fun Activities to Share with Your Kids when you subscribe to my Free Parenting Newsletter at http://www.KidsDiscuss.com  

If you’d like a ready-made notebook to keep track of your family meetings, Pick up my Family Meeting Diary at http://www.kidsdiscuss.com/parent_resource_center.asp?pr_id=kd006  It will become a family keepsake of your most cherished moments.


Family Fun ~ I Dread Holidays!

Parenting is hard enough without planning for family holidays. Many mothers feel this way because they do all the work. Whether you're a working mom outside or inside the home, you may be expected to hold the party for your extended family too. You don't have to do all the work.

Family Values:

Many working moms remember how their stay-at-home mothers created delicious holidays. They feel guilty as they tell themselves, "I should do the same." Not so.

"If you want to work for world peace, go home and love your families." - Mother Teresa

The Family Meeting:

Holding family meetings is a way to love your families and share the work. Gather the family around the kitchen table and:

  • Talk about the meaning of the upcoming holiday
  • Get their ideas on how to celebrate that meaning
  • Choose the suggestions to follow
  • List the tasks needed
  • Assign names beside each task and the date for completing them
  • Post the tasks on the refrigerator
  • Check them off when completed

When 2 or more heads get together, who knows how many creative suggestions you'll get?

One more thing, have the extended family contribute something to the celebration too. When everyone's involved, your holiday may even be better than your mom's. You won't be dreading holidays either.

Try it and let me know how your next holiday goes.

How do you make your holidays fun and easy?

Additional Help:

I invite you to receive 80 Fun Activities to Share with Your Kids when you subscribe to my Free Parenting Newsletter at http://www.KidsDiscuss.com 

If you’d like a ready-made notebook to keep track of your family meetings, Pick up my Family Meeting Diary at http://www.kidsdiscuss.com/parent_resource_center.asp?pr_id=kd006  It will become a treasure of how you created a loving family.


Family Values ~ How Can I Keep My Kids Safe from Strangers?

Look inside for one way to share your family values and keep your children safe.

“Parents, they're strict on you when you're little, and you don't understand why. But as you get older, you understand and you appreciate it.” - Grant Hill

When the doorbell rings, does your child run to the door?  Is he excited to welcome a guest? How can family meetings help him make a wiser decision?

Share Family Values within the Family Meeting

Family meetings make it easy to be strict because your children's ideas will be included in the desicions. Family meetings only take 30 minutes. Compared to the hours spent watching TV, 30 minutes isn’t much.

How to Use the Family Meeting to Teach Safety When the Doorbell Rings

·     Ask your kids what they should do when the doorbell rings

·     Listen to their solutions

·     Add your ideas

·     Create a simple document

·     Write down everyone’s solutions

·     Write, “I won’t open the door to strangers”

·     Include, “When my parents aren’t home, I won’t open invite my friends in either.

·     Have them sign the document

·     Post the document on the family bulletin board

Family meetings can teach safety rules. They take little time and they work well when you use them for discussions. Why? You’ll be including your kids’ ideas too. Who wouldn’t love that?

What else would you include in a document about safety for your family to sign?

I invite you to pick up my Family Meeting Book  It records your family meetings for a year. When it's completed, you'll have a gem.

 

Family Fun ~ How to Plan a Family Trip to the Swimming Pool

Family Fun ~ How to Plan a Family Trip to the Swimming Pool

Is creating family fun important to you? But are you the one who always plans, prepares, and packs everything? Look inside to find out how to share the work, the fun, and your family values too.

“Where parents do too much for their children, the children will not do much for themselves.” Elbert Hubbard

Family Fun at Your Family Meeting

Do you ever feel like you’re dragging kids to pleasant events? You’re trying to make them happy and they’re grumbling. Family meetings have the power to change all that because they get your family involved in the planning.

How to Plan a Swimming Event at the Family Meeting

Get out the calendar. Choose a date when everyone’s together. Look up the family swim schedule. Teach your kids how to check the phone book or the internet to find out swim times. Notice the pool’s safety rules. Get the kids to discuss why the rules are important.

Choose Volunteers to Bring

·     Bathing Suits

·     Towels

·     Face masks

·     Swim toys

·     Ear plugs

·     Snorkeling gear,

·     Soap for the showers

Feel the excitement!

 If you do all the work, your children will not do much for themselves. But if you use the family meeting, they’ll plan, prepare, and pack too. Then everyone shares the work and the fun.

When you use the family meeting to plan family fun, please comment below. I’d love to know the results.

Additional Help:

Create a loving close-knit family! Let my Family Meeting Book

 be your guide. Pick up my Family Meeting Diary at http://www.kidsdiscuss.com/parent_resource_center.asp?pr_id=kd006