How should I hold a family meeting?

Michele Borba
The best way for kids to learn to express themselves is right at home, so why not start “Family Debates” or if you prefer the gentler-sounding approach: “Family Meetings.” Start by setting these five family rules:

1. Everyone is listened to.

2. No putdowns are allowed.

3. You may disagree, but do so respectfully.

4. Talk calmly.

5. Everyone gets a turn.

Topics can be the hot button issues in the world, in school, or right in your home. Here are just a few discussion possibilities: house rules, sibling conflicts, allowances, chores, curfews, parent-set movie restrictions. “Real world” issues could include: reparations, the Iraq War, the draft, lowering the voting age, legalizing drugs. Whatever the topic, encourage your hesitant child to speak up and be heard.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.