As the summer winds down, I get excited about back-to-school time. We all get to start fresh, and they get to meet new friends. I also like that we get back on a schedule. Having a routine is key to having a successful school year because it provides much-needed structure and increases efficiency in your life.
To help my family stay organized this school year we are instituting weekly family meetings. These meetings will help us stay connected and keep us on schedule.
Here are some tips for setting up your own family meetings.
Pick a time
Set a day and time that works best for your family. We will have our meetings on Sunday afternoons to prepare for the week ahead.
Choose a topic
Each week we will talk about things we are doing well and things we could improve upon as individuals and as a family. We will also discuss our goals for the week and how we can help each other accomplish those goals. Make sure to always let your children talk and ask questions first. This will make them feel valued and will give you a chance to see how they really feel.
Prepare a 'question of the week'
These questions can be simple or serious. One week you can ask, "If you could be a super hero for a day who would you be?" Or "what could you do to help make our house run as smoothly as possible?"
Discuss daily and weekly chores
It is important for everyone to contribute their time helping around the home. This will teach your children responsibility and help lighten your housework load. You can assign one to two chores per child and change it up every week.
Plan the week's menu
Planning out meals as a family will help you save money, time, reduce stress and make it easier to choose healthier food options. Help your children make a list of their favorite meals (including vegetables and fruits) and post the list. Not only will it remind them of the foods they like to eat, but it will make meal planning easier for you.
Record important dates on family calendar
Make sure to write down all important events on a family calendar. Having a calendar for everyone to see helps your family stay on track. Talk about what’s going on in the week ahead, so that each family member is on the same page.
Consider adding craft time
The first Sunday of the month we will make homemade cards for birthdays, anniversaries and holidays for family and friends. I hope this will teach my children to make those in their life feel special even if it's something as simple as a card.
Spend quality time as a family
After each meeting, we will do something as a family. It might be as simple a board game or reciting our favorite jokes. I’m hoping this time together will not only get us on track for the week, but also make everyone feel special and relaxed.
Gabriela is wife to husband, Aaron, and mom to four boys! She is a full-time mom, works as a substitute teacher, and owns her own cleaning business. She runs the Facebook group, I Only Make Boys, where she enjoys chronicling her boys' crazy adventures and sharing wisdom with other boymoms.