I am excited to be having this chat with you! The fact that you want to know about having your first family meeting with small children means you’re a dedicated mommy. That makes me just plumb happy.
The best time to start holding family meetings is right now when your kiddos are still little. To make the whole thing easier for you and set your family up for success, let’s talk about 15 steps you can take to plan your first family meeting with small children.
These steps will set you up for success so that you end your meeting feeling good about it and looking forward to the next week’s meeting!
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And just to throw out any feelings of apprehension you may be having, let me tell you that we had our first family meeting when our firstborn was just ONE year old! He was our only child and it was just the 3 of us sitting around the kitchen table!
Crazy? No, it was great. Here we are 14+ years later still having family meetings every Sunday, and our family is blessed because of it!
15 Steps To Plan Your First Family Meeting With Small Children.
First Thing’s First.
#1. Pick a day that works well for your family!
- a day that has plenty of time in it to start early.
- a day that you are certain everyone will be home.
- and a day that doesn’t contain a lot of “other” running around.
** you may have to CREATE this day if it doesn’t already exist. Make it a priority.
#2. Create your FIRST meeting agenda to include these things:
- prayer in (simple: “Father God, please hear our hearts and bless our meeting time, in Jesus name, Amen.”
- top THREE events happening in the week to come (Drs app, play date, etc)
- Great Jobs! Speak out loud something you are happy about for each family member.
- Must work-ons! Speak out loud ONE thing each family member needs to work on. (mommy and daddy need to agree ahead of time on something to say for each other that is acceptable such as: “Daddy, please remember to lock all the doors before bed.” Keep it simple but honest)
- Highlights and lowlights.
(these are incidences that made a family member happy or sad. Have each family member share FOUR things total, in whatever combination they want)
- prayer requests (include a few BIG things your family is believing God for as well as prayer requests offered up by the kids)
- prayer out (simple: “Father God, Thank You for your presence here. We want to honor you with our meeting time. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”)
Next Thing’s Next.
#3. Get a timer!
Whatever you do, do not let your meeting drag on. It’s better to have a great 5-minute meeting than a dreadful 30-minute meeting!
#4. Get a spiral notebook to take simple notes.
Either mom or dad should be in charge of taking notes. Use the agenda paper to jot prayer requests, concerning lowlights, potential schedule conflicts, etc. Do NOT skip this step. You’ll cherish looking back on these notes when your child is older! And it’s a real blessing to be able to look at all the prayer requests God answers.
#5. Pick a spot.
Can be cozy (couch) or stiff (kitchen table.) I prefer the kitchen table as long as you keep it short. Getting too cozy on a couch can lead to playing and distraction.
#6. Announce it on the day of.
Let all the family members know (whether they understand what you are saying or not) that your family will be having a meeting at whatever-o’clock today.
How To Have a Family Meeting With Small Children
#7. Call everyone together.
Say, “Hi everyone! I’m so excited for our first family meeting! We are going to be having a family meeting every week from now on. It’s healthy and beneficial for our family and I am so glad I get to have meetings with you all!”
#9. Go through your agenda thoroughly but diligently. Covering all the points.
#10. Require all family members to contribute SOMETHING.
After even the smallest member has shared something, offer praise. (Remember our first family meeting was a mommy, daddy, and a one-year-old. His response to every question was “Dada!” And we’d always say, “yay, buddy. Good job!”
Reasonable and relaxed.
#11. Be reasonable about your expectations.
Your child is tiny. She’s going to get antsy, off track, and distracted. It’s OK…
The honest-to-goodness truth about great parenting is that most moms miss the mark, thinking that her child has to understand in order TO child train when she should train SO her child understands!
#12. Don’t be afraid to tell them to pick up the pace.
If your child decides he really likes this whole “sharing time” thing and starts rambling, it’s perfectly acceptable to say, “ok, that’s all the time you have for today’s meeting.” (if he said something that concerns you, make time to resume the conversation in private where you can talk it out more effectively)
#13. Take SIMPLE notes.
#14. Don’t get frustrated!
When your child gets off track, bring him back. If he whines, don’t respond to unwanted behavior. When she gets fussy, keep the vibe positive. It’s all part of the training process.
#15. Pat yourself on the back and take a deep breath knowing you did a great thing for your family!
Is Have A Family Meeting Exciting Or Stressful?
The first family meeting you have will be the most exciting and possibly the most stressful. Simply not knowing how your children will act makes the unknown a scary thing. After that first one, you’ll know what to expect and how to adjust accordingly.
The truth though, is that a regular family meeting is one of the easiest ways to mightily strengthen your family. The benefits to weekly meetings, sharing your hearts, communicating and operating as a team… are endless.
I’ve given you 15 steps for how to have your first family meeting with little kids. So…Keep it simple. Keep it short. And keep it positive. Correct when necessary.
Having a family meeting is not hard, regardless of your child’s age. And lastly, It’s not complicated or that time-consuming. Your family can do it. Your family should do it. And don’t forget to tell me how it goes!