Happy New Year 2019! A new year commonly means saying hello to a few new goals and maybe even establishing some new routines.
If you’re reading this post then it’s probably because you’ve decided to join me in 2019 using the Family Meeting Planner to establish a regular family meeting at your home.
Just in case you have no idea what I’m talking about, please continue reading and grab your FREE copy of the Family Meeting Planner to get started.
You can get more detailed information about the benefits of scheduling a regular family meeting here.
If you have already snagged your copy of the Family Meeting Planner, then I’m hoping this post will answer any remaining questions that you may have. However, please feel free to email me any questions that you don’t find answered here.
How Family Meetings Can Change Your Life
First of all, it is my hope that you find your Family Meeting Planner (FMP) functional, enjoyable to use, and most of all beneficial for both you and your family.
As you may know, I stumbled upon the overwhelmingly positive benefits of conducting family meetings early in my career as a Parent Educator.
I began scheduling regular meetings and my life, family, and home seemed to be instantly transformed. Our family seemed more organized, informed, closer, and simply became a happier environment.
We’ve been conducting family meetings for over 10 years now, and it is still an anticipated and valuable tradition for my family.
Now, that is not to say that we have always held them. Life happens, and when it does you may have to put meetings on the back burner for a while. But trust me when I say, if you’ve been diligent about having them, you will certainly notice the difference when you are not.
Family meetings can assist you in creating a schedule, organizing your home-management routine, meal planning, vacation planning, the family’s agenda’s, and your finances.
The best part about it is that it orchestrates a loving family tradition that you and your family will look forward to and cherish for years to come. The key is to make it enjoyable and create anticipation. We will discuss just how to do that in a bit.
So without further ado, let’s get started planning out your new family meetings.
I Snagged My New Family Meeting Planner, Now What?
Now that you have your planner, the first thing that I suggest you do is to read through the “How It Works” and the “Getting Started” sections.
The How It Works section shares some suggestions about starting your very first meeting. Deciding how often you will schedule it and the duration of the meetings.
My family schedule meetings once a week. I find that weekly meetings seem to be much more successful as oppose to bi-weekly or monthly meetings; in the beginning anyway.
You’ll also find the 5 basic components for hosting your meeting in the “How It Works” section.
The “Getting Started” section gives you a step by step guide to hosting the meetings. You can choose to host your meetings with these suggestions or come up with your own.
NOTE: If you haven’t downloaded your free copy yet, be aware that the planner is designed to fit both a standard three-ring binder as well as the Classic Happy Planner (71/2’ (w) x 9’ (l)) approximately.
After choosing the size you want your planner to be, go ahead and begin assembling it. The very first page is the front cover and the second page is the back cover. You may find it beneficial to laminate these.
What’s Included In Your Family Meeting Planner
You will find a handy checklist in your new planner that outlines all of the sections necessary to conduct your meetings. This is simply a guide as to what sheets to have printed off and ready for your meeting.
The Checklist items are not listed in a particular order.
The following are the sections (pages) included in your FM planner
- Daily Planner
- Weekly Planner
- Monthly Planner
- Monthly Budget
- Shopping Lists
- To-Do Lists
- Children’s Chore Assignments
- Recipe Planner
- Family Favorite Recipe Cards
- Project Planner
- Vacation Planner
Please note that you may find it beneficial to print several copies of particular pages. Some suggestions are the shopping and to-do lists, the budget sheets, the notes pages, and of course the calendar or schedule pages.
Schedule Your Meeting And Get Started
Now that you have your Family Meeting Planner printed and ready to go, schedule your very first family meeting!
Keep in mind that you can use your FMP sections to determine the agenda for the meetings.
You may also want to get suggestions from your family as to what topics they’d like to discuss.
Also, take note of any issues that may occur during the week leading up to your meeting. You can discuss any unresolved issues at the meeting and/or solutions.
Don’t forget to have plenty of “Notes” pages printed off so that you can write out any solutions, strategies, ideas, or simply brainstorming sessions to keep in your planner. These pages are great to reference later or simply to keep as memorabilia.
Lastly, don’t forget to be prepared for your meeting. Just like you wouldn’t want to show up to a business meeting unprepared, likewise for this one.
Have all of your printable’s ready and in order. Have writing utensils available, snacks, games, stickers, etc. Also, be sure to have your fun family activity thought out and ready to go.
Speaking of being prepared, if you haven’t snagged your copy of the Family Meeting Planner yet and saving time and getting organized sounds REAL good to you, then go ahead and click on the image below.
Q. Should we cover all of the sections at each meeting?
A. Absolutely not, you certainly can if you’d like but it’s usually best to only cover necessary topics during the meeting.
Q. How Often should we conduct a family meeting?
A. I recommend weekly, but that schedule will not work for every family. One idea is to host a meeting weekly for about 4 weeks and then assess if your family needs/wants to continue at that pace from there.
Q. How do I get the children to participate?
A. One of the most important things you can do at the very start is to make the meeting fun and encouraging. This is a great time to compliment each other on accomplishments for the week and recognition. Also, you will want to be sure to close your meetings with a fun family activity so that the meetings are always a welcomed event. Children LOVE to feel apart of the decision-making process and they feel much more secure when their opinions and suggestions are valued. These meetings provide the perfect opportunity to accomplish both. Be sure to provide a fun and “special” snack or treat for the meetings, for an added incentive.
Q. How long should the meetings last?
A. The meetings shouldn’t last more than an hour. If you have very young children, be prepared to lose their attention around the 15-minute mark (if you’re lucky). You may want to have some coloring books or other quiet-time manipulative on hand during meeting times. Another suggestion for conducting meetings with small children is to schedule a family meeting that lasts for 30 minutes and then a separate meeting with your spouse for things like the budget, vacation planning, project planning, etc.
It is my sincere hope that you find your new Family Meeting Planner beneficial. More importantly, that you and your family experience a new sense of connectedness and synchrony.
Please do not hesitate to connect with me if you have any further questions about this product. I’m always eager to hear your feedback.
I am hoping to do a video tutorial ( as soon as I can find the courage) on the set-up and use of the FMP in the near future, so keep an eye out for that.
Other than that, I had a great time creating this for you and I hope that you’ll enjoy!