Time is a novel notion — its hours often sought but never found, its seconds lost to busy afternoons. There are too many things to do and too few moments to achieve them all. Sacrifices therefore must be made. All duties must be examined, prioritized and rearranged; and the once valued family meeting is banished to the end of your long list of obligations. It’s deemed unessential and you choose to replace it with far more pressing matters.
This is a mistake, however — and one that must be corrected.
The concept of the family meeting is a familiar one: it’s meant to inspire communication, to allow discussions to occur in a safe environment. Too often is it refused, however. Parents believe that their time should be devoted to other activities — especially when their children present no obvious problems.
It’s all too common, though, for youths to shield their issues. Without the proper platform they may assume that they simply can’t: believing that their parents don’t wish to communicate. It’s estimated that over 70 percent of children who don’t speak regularly with their families (detailing important concerns) become involved with unwanted behaviors — such as drinking, substance abuse and more.
Family meetings are therefore essential.
Each week should offer the opportunity for children and parents to share information. These events should be scheduled for specific times (which will stimulate a sense of normalcy) and they should not be dismissed. Creating a routine will help youths feel secure with voicing their opinions and will allow the process to be successful.
A family meeting is vital. Time will simply have to be found to accommodate it.