Managing Daily Family Life
Once families become busy with work, school, outside enrichment activities, community service, and college and career planning activities, they can easily become overscheduled and stressed by the many demands for their time. Through weekly family meetings, families can sit down together and coordinate their daily schedules. They can determine how household chores will be completed, how to manage allowances, and how they will give back to their communities. Family members can discuss how they will address challenges and an emerging family crisis. They can celebrate successes as a family, discuss family activities, and plan for trips. Each family member can rotate responsibilities when serving as the meeting facilitator or a secretary to record family decisions.
Sample Family Meeting Agenda
A typical family meeting agenda may include the following topics:
- A celebration and recognition of a family member’s successes
- A review of each member’s household chores for the upcoming week
- Clarification of allowances offered to various family members and weekly allowance payment
- A discussion of the overall schedule for the coming week including parents’ driving schedules for school drop-offs, afterschool coordinated activities, the childcare schedule, and any special events for the family
- A discussion on any community service or volunteer activities for coordination
- Ongoing planning for family mini vacations and a longer summer vacation
- A discussion and updates on family members or friends who are ill, need added support, or any emerging family need
- Anything else that requires discussion, coordination, or support services
Brainstorming Solutions at Family Meetings
Once a family becomes comfortable with the family meeting format, families can actively discuss challenging and difficult topics in relation to the family’s values. If a family member is suffering from a debilitating illness, family members can brainstorm how they can support the family member per the following examples:
- All family members can create a series of get-well cards as a family art activity and one member can make sure to mail the card with a message weekly.
- Another family member can organize a dinner delivery plan with local neighbors, friends, the extended family, and a church group.
- A parent can organize a driving schedule for doctors’ visits.
- A family member can help with the financial management of bills and household chores.
As family members work together as a unit and model effective problem-solving skills, the parents and their children model how families can effectively work together to manage daily challenges and emerging critical needs. This model will help children become effective in the daily management of their lives as they become more independent and seek career and college opportunities and experiences beyond their family. [Read more…]
Mary Ann Burke, Ed.D., Digital Education Expert, is a substitute distance learning teacher for Oak Grove School District in San Jose, California and the author of STUDENT-ENGAGED ASSESSMENT: Strategies to Empower All Learners (Rowman & Littlefield: 2020). Dr. Burke creates digital language arts and substitute teaching K – 12 activities for teachers and parents. She is the Cofounder of the Genparenting.com blog. Burke is the former Director II of Categorical & Special Projects for the Santa Clara County Office of Education that supports 31 school districts serving 272,321 students in Santa Clara County. She is also a previous Director – State & Federal Compliance for Oakland Unified School District, the former Director – Grantwriter for the Compton Unified School District, and was the initial VISTA Director for the Community Partnership Coalition in southern California. Much of her work focuses on creating innovative digital trainings and partnership programs for teachers and families to support students’ learning. These programs were featured as a best practice at a National Title I Conference, California’s Title I Conferences, AERA Conferences, an ASCD Conference, the NASSP Conference, and statewide educator conferences.