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Family-Meetings Web Organizations from corporations to the school board to the neighborhood association schedule meetings to provide updates, gather new ideas, and discuss hurdles. Why not implement this on a weekly basis for your family? Spend a little time around the dining room table or curled up on the couch communicating with your spouse and children, and allowing them to share their ideas, too.

Hold family meetings consistently at the same time each week. By scheduling the meeting beforehand, it will come as no surprise to family members to allot that time to family each week. Establishing the routine and sticking with it will prevent last minute cancelations.

Set rules. Practice patience by banning interruption during family meetings. Each person is allowed their time to talk and share opinions, moderated by an adult, and outside forms of communication should be powered down. Cell phones, even the home phone, can be turned off to decreases interruptions during the meeting.

Make it fun! While family meetings are a good place to have serious discussions, families can talk about weekend plans, vacation ideas or the week's menu during this time as well.

Bring your planner. As children get older, individual schedules begin to fill. During the family meeting, talk about each person's schedule and try to work out the details of events, practices, meetings and rides ahead of time. This will save time and stress throughout the week.

Serve dessert! Or provide some out of the ordinary treat during meeting time. Kids can help in the preparation of the treat, or each family member can sign up for a week to provide the surprise.

Keeping a family well-informed and opening up the floor to hear everyone's opinions will create a team spirit in the family, and allow you to examine potential issues up close, and right away.

Source: The Confident Mom Photo: Stephanie Hofschlaeger

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