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Monday, November 7, 2011

Family Meeting Two (Day 8)

The kids actually asked to have our team meeting this Sunday. I’m taking that as a good sign! I came armed with “star charts” and information from the little book, Building Family Communication by the William Gladden Foundation, just published this year. (A review of this booklet can be found in my blog’s Family Resource Reviews section). Before we even sat down at the table, someone had found the “talking spoon” and my daughter had tacked up a huge sheet of paper for our discussions. We discussed upcoming weekly events, positive achievements that each person had this week, reviewed our use of the word “BACON” to halt arguments during our meeting time, and then discussed positive and negative verbal and non-verbal messages based on the Gladden book. Then, we got down to the nitty-gritty. It went a little bit like this, more or less:
MOM: Okay, let’s start with our next item: Positive Family Achievements. Five minutes.
LIZA: Well, we behaved at the football game last night.

KEN: Yeah, no one hit one another.
JAY: And Halloween went well.
LIZA: Yeah, but we were all split up with our friends.
JAY: That’s what I mean, Halloween went well!
DAD: Jay…
JOEY: I got a lot of candy.
LIZA: Someone took some of my candy.
KEN: Don’t look at me!
LIZA: I didn’t look at you. I’m just saying…
KEN: You’re the timekeeper, not the equalizer.
JOEY: Okay, then TIME!
MOM: So we did well with those events. Let’s move onto our ground rules section.
JAY: I think we should first put down “no hitting” .
LIZA: (Who has now gotten a marker and started writing on the large paper “hands to self“). I agree.
DAD: Everyone agree?
JOEY: What about the consequences?
KEN: I think anyone who hits or wrestles should have to clean my half of the room.
LIZA: (Dancing around the kitchen) No, my room! They have to clean MY room!
JAY: How about an hour time out?
DAD: An hour?
JAY: Yes, because physical stuff should have the biggest consequence.
MOM: (Looking at Joey, then back at Jay) Well, maybe the time out should be related to age.
JAY: Okay, time out related to age. Agree?
DAD: You’re not the equalizer this week.
KEN: What about saying “Shut up”? We should have something for that.
MOM: Well, let’s try to use our positive verbal language.
JOEY: What if we say, “Shush up”?
LIZA: Or “Shoosh up”?
JAY: How about if we say “Please be quiet”? That’s positive language right?
DAD: Yes, right.
KEN: But we didn’t discuss the consequence!
LIZA: We should write apology notes.
JAY: Can we have a warning first?
LIZA: Yeah, a warning and then an apology note to the person you used the bad language to.
DAD: Agree?
MOM: Next section.
MOM: Okay, well, last week, Jay had mentioned getting an allowance. So I thought maybe we could start back up the “star charts” to help us practice our positive language, and do chores, and earn allowance money. Then, I left some sections for you to put down one of your own goals. Is this something that you’d like to do?
KEN: Our own goals?
MOM: Yes. Do you want to do this?
JAY: Are you and Dad going to do one, too?
DAD: Yes, let’s do them, too.
LIZA: I want to do it.
DAD: Who wants to do the “star charts”?
MOM: Okay, so you can have a few minutes to fill in your own goals.
LIZA: I’m filling in “try to do things on time”.
JAY: I’m filling in to write a half page on my story.
JOEY: I’m filling in to not eat too much candy.
MOM: I’m filling in to practice my swimming.
KEN: I’m filling in to use a tablespoon of butter on bagels.
JAY: What?!
KEN: Yeah, a tablespoon of butter is best. (Laughing).
DAD: Well, I’m filling in not to sneak people’s candy.
We planned to meet back up for our family activity later in the day.


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