Do you sit down with your family to discuss important issues, problems or decisions? If you don't, you should.
A family council or meeting can consist of just the husband and wife or parents and all of the children or one/two parent(s) and one child. This is a time to talk about whatever needs to be discussed by giving and receiving input. It gives all family members a chance to be involved.
What should you talk about in family councils?
Discuss upcoming schedules
Family life can get pretty busy and chaotic, especially as children get older and have busy lives of their own. If a family can sit down together to discuss upcoming events and other things that are happening throughout the week, all family members can get to where they need to be. This will alleviate any potential miscommunications.
Talk about problems
Maybe you have some kids who are not getting along. Perhaps chores aren't getting done. Maybe the kids are not listening to Mom (that NEVER happens, right?). Whatever issues your family has need to be talked about and worked out together. Have everyone help come up with solutions to the problems or to the things that aren't working. This is a great way to refocus and start again, getting everyone to strive to do better.
Plan family activities together
Many families enjoy going on trips together. Even more enjoyable is when each member gets to have input on where you go on a family vacation. Discuss cost, length of stay, what you'll need to pack and what foods you can bring to eat or where you'll dine out. Coming up with a fun plan together creates family cohesiveness.
Discuss family goals
Do you make goals as family? It's a good idea. You can decide together what aspects of your life need improvement and work on it together. Does your family need to eat healthier? Watch less television? Have a no-device day or reduce screen time in general? Maybe as a family you'd like to be more service-oriented toward each other. Perhaps having family prayers is something you want to start doing. Whatever you choose, make goals that improve the quality of your relationships with one another.
Focus on individuals
Sometimes, a council with the entire family is not appropriate. If there is an issue within your marriage, you shouldn't discuss it with your children. If one child is having a problem, it can be embarrassing to talk about it with the whole family. This is when one-on-one councils or two-parents-and-one-child councils are important. Take time to listen to individuals. Take a genuine interest in each person and what he or she is saying. This will strengthen individual relationships and give each family member the attention and time needed.
Holding family councils is important for all families. Whether you're newly married, a single parent, parents of young children, a family with teenagers or empty nesters, family councils are an important way to communicate as a family and build stronger relationships.