How to Have a Family Meeting

Why and how to gather your brood for regular discussions.

In The Brady Bunch, Mike Brady would round up his wife and kids for a meeting any time there was a big issue to discuss. Well, family meetings work in real life, too. Experts say they're especially helpful for ADD families.

Gather your brood together on a regular basis - perhaps once a week for 20 minutes. Here are some guidelines:

Have an agenda. Post it on the refrigerator one day before the meeting, so each family member has an opportunity to add to the list.

Give everyone a chance to speak without interruption. Use a timer, if necessary, to ensure that everyone gets an opportunity.

Designate a note-taker. Have someone jot down what was discussed, along with any decisions that were made. Review these notes at the next meeting.

End each meeting with something special - a dessert, a favorite board game, or some other treat.

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