Why the family reunion

Do you want to see the best behavior in your children?

You want to understand more clearly?

You want everyone to "get all along.

Try the family reunion!

When the use of this valuable tool to strengthen family relationships, it is important to establish a clear vision of what you want to enjoy your meetings of families. Meetings are the structure, but not be so rigid that enjoyment is impossible. Family meetings can become chaotic, so be prepared for some rough debut. However, with perseverance, you will soon be on a course of great discovery.

As a foster parent, we had lots of fun with the meetings of families. We also had some blow ups, as children to fight and disagree, and we have all lost our patience sometimes. Remember, the meetings are a place of learning. The family meeting is a step, full of entertainment, emotions and debate. Hidden talents and sometimes negative personal issues may surface as children learn to listen, to communicate, to organize and to carry out. This tool to give a chance to work. As you all see grow and mature, you will enjoy meetings and might even ask how you never existed without them.

The measure of success

Success is measured in inches. First, expect a few sighs and moans, making it still plu fun to hear your children say things like "I am bringing up this family meeting.". or "can we talk about this at the next meeting" "." Can I be the "facilitator"? and even "may my friend Susie (Bill, Bob, Debra...)". Come to our family reunion? "Although this issue shows much interest your child in the process of... most often said" no! " "to the company. Family meetings are watered down when you have frequently invited. Keep the staff, private, special and mysterious meetings outside the family.

How to start the family reunion

Here are some basic principles of thinking that you develop your own style of family reunion:

Hold short meetings.

Have an agenda. Let children contribute to the items on the agenda of the day during the week prior to the date of the meeting.

Develop rules to place the issues of the day.

Too personal topics (rule of parents on this subject) are kept for private conversations.

Have a procedure of departure and end. Example: Start with a family singing, reciting a prayer, reciting the pledge, etc.. End with a similar approach and perhaps a brief summary and an overview of the next meeting.

Begin by activity type positive round-robin where everyone says something positive about the person on their left (for example) - keep one or two sentences. This can be an activity carried out in a variety of ways, be creative! The purpose is just to begin on a positive note. In addition, it is difficult to criticise someone when you said just something positive in their regard.

A fun interactive game in the meeting.

Let the children announcing them, narration, and as much of the direction of the meeting as possible. Let the little Joey 10 age say something like: "I will turn the time dad and MOM will speak Saturday picnic". The person ordering the meeting should have an overview to go in before the start of the meeting. Keep the flexible structure, but present.

Serve light refreshments.


Meeting of family "no".

NO SUITOR. Table of this subject, talking to individuals, then did you the situation when calm prevails.

No interrupting other comments. Wait your turn.

No appeal of telephone, or answering the door. Respect the meeting by putting the "world" waiting for an hour.

No extension on the meetings Beaver unless that everyone is in agreement.

Expect these life lessons:

Filing of certain issues teaches patience and that everything can be resolved in 30 minutes.

Respect for differences of opinion.

The search for positive results.

Resolution of problems.

Power of Persuasion.

Learning to say "no" to interruptions.

Establishment of priorities.


To communicate.

To listen.

Participation in a group.


Compliance, compliance, compliance.



Be creative, coherent and positive. Seek information on the meetings of family and always be ready to change and improve. On the reverse, follow the routine of things that gives a sense of security and predictability for the others. To help with the differences in attention span, families can find useful to have 2 separate meetings – starting together, separate to the benefits of the age and the stage and consolidation and then at the end. Enjoy.

Note author: family gatherings can be particularly useful for adolescents. Even if initially, they may respond with the opposition, meetings of appeal to their desire to self-management and control. Read my other posts about the meeting of family and other parental situations

Marisue Alsobrook is a veteran of Foster parent and Adoption more of 17 years. As a trainer in the field of foster care and adoption, its staff of more than 250 children experience and adopt two, gave its workshops special insight that she has trained parents and social workers. Now retired from foster parents, she enjoys spending time with her husband of 30 years and 3 grown sons. It lies in the southwest of Florida and is currently working on a book called "Hearts in part" for more information, go to

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