It’s a no brainer that when you get married, you’re starting a new nuclear family. The husband is the head of the household and the wife is second in command. Part of your family will include your children, maybe your parents or your spouse’s parents, and even your pets. Every person in the family should have responsibilities and expectations. While your family should be a source of love and support, you should also think of your family as a small business.
Family meetings used to sound a bit cliche but after watching How to Have a Family Meeting the Stoddard Way, I was inspired. This family certainly gave me some great ideas for when hubby and I build our family. First, I wasn’t quite sure what goes on during a family meeting. I believe the first place to start is by assigning roles to everyone.
In our (future) household, hubby will automatically assume the role of President of the household. We believe that the man is the head of the house and it will also be the same for our “business”. As the wife (mom in the future), I will assume the role of Vice President, or second in command. Other families may want the husband and wife to be Co-Presidents or Co-Captains. That’s fine, whatever works for your family. I have no problem being the second in charge. Although hubby always confirms with me and runs things by me, ultimately things will be his decision. (I have the power but I like to let him think he does haha).
When we have children, I think it’ll be great to have them each assume a role. Maybe someone will take on the role of Secretary and take notes during the meetings. Maybe we’ll have a Treasurer who, when they’re old enough, will handle the budget. In the beginning, one of us (or both of us) will be handling the household finances, but it’d be great to teach our children that early. Someone can assume the position of Historian and document family outings and memories. Everyone having a role will ensure everyone will feel important and that they matter.
No meeting should occur without a clear agenda of what’s to be discussed. There should be regular things that always occur for each meeting. In our family, I’d love to start off with a prayer, family updates, a topic of discussion, and end with feedback. The family updates can be anything from how the week went, what you’re working on, how you’re feeling, etc. Along with the family updates will be a report of the budget. I think a budget is very important for every family to have, and each family member should know what’s going on in the budget. What bills are getting paid? What’s the savings account looking like? How about the vacation fund? Who earned their allowance? That should be public information for the entire household. A topic of discussion could be something going on in current events, in the household, or something that everyone in the family needs to be aware of. Feedback can be something that one family member needs to say to another, and it should be a supportive environment where everyone feels comfortable saying things in a non-judgmental way.
Some people will choose to have their family meetings on a nightly basis, maybe during dinner. Others may choose weekly, monthly, or even an annual meeting. I would love to sit down with my family every night but I personally don’t want to make every night a meeting night. I think once a week for brief updates. Once a month for a recap of the month’s progress. Once a year to assess and decide on goals for the following year. The important thing is to be consistent. I’ve seen a lot of families say they’ve had meetings but inconsistently. I want our family to succeed in every avenue, so holding regular meetings is going to be crucial.
I’m a nerd though, so I know this doesn’t excite most people, but the idea of a family meeting makes me happy. I love agendas and appointments and updates. Those things tickle me and irk others. Whatever the case may be, try it out. You don’t need kids to start your family meeting. If it’s just you and your spouse, have it a little less formal, but take it seriously nonetheless. Open lines of communication, transparency, and honesty is what makes a family unit thrive.
Have you held family meetings? What are your tips and suggestions?