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Family Discussion

Building a successful family is like building a home. Both need a plan. A successful family based on unity and love takes careful planning, but it's worth every moment.

The best way to be organized as a family is to hold weekly family discussions. By doing this, families enjoy a special closeness and stability. Choosing to spend time with your family sends a message more powerful than words. Memories made together during this time will bond and sustain your family through the years. Don't be discouraged if your discussions aren't perfect--no family's discussions are. Do your best and congratulate yourselves on participating in an activity that will bring your family closer together.

The family discussion should be an important part of every family's weekly schedule. The family discussion can have three parts. These are suggestions only; your weekly discussion can be anything your family wants it to be.

* Talk about upcoming events. Decide when family members can support one another by attending their activities. Then plan one family activity. Remember to talk about all the details of the activity. This will include the date, time, meeting place, money and food needed, special clothes to be worn, etc. When conflicts arise, this family activity has highest priority.

* Talk about family matters. Discuss household chores, family problems, and anything a family member wants to talk about. This is a valuable opportunity each week to gather around and share feelings about the family. Anything that needs to be discussed can be shared at this time. It is very important that family members speak only positively, and allow the person talking to share her or his feelings in an atmosphere of empathy and caring. This is a time to voice concerns and suggestions for the good of the family.

* Plan an activity. Families need to have fun together! The activity should be something that everyone enjoys. It could be as simple as a family walk in the neighborhood, or playing a board game. The activity could be watching a movie as a family, going to a sporting event, or doing a service for a friend or neighbor. The most important thing is that the family is all together, enjoying themselves.

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