Only time will tell if we can bring our crazy, hyperextended family together...BETTER! Come share our laughs and struggles as we test tips, tricks, and tools-of-the-trade in our quest for a more fabulous family life.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Family Meeting #4--Day 23

Our family meetings are falling into a routine. The meetings are having effects on our family that we never realized would occur.  We are starting to learn about one another in a way that we hadn’t learned about each other before. 
Our meetings now start with letting everyone know our business for the coming week, then our discussion of self-achievements, family achievements, and our new topic—telling other people in our family what we appreciate about them.  Although compliments and achievements may seem like something that doesn’t need to be said in a family, or shouldn’t have to be said, these words bring smiles to each person in our family.  An unintended result of this part of the meeting is that we learn more about each other.

  I had no idea that my two older boys looked up to one another.  This gave them the opportunity to say that.  We had no idea that my youngest son was interested in building until he told that everyone how proud he was of himself for building a model this week.  After asking him questions about his creation, we learned something new about his interests.
            Drawing while we meet seems to work well to keep our two jumpy kids from destroying the tablecloth. J We knew they were jumpy but had no idea how really jumpy they were until we tried to sit down to talk.  We quickly realized that they concentrated better if they had something to work with in their hands. 
We decided that our general family guidelines are set, worked well this week, and need no changes.  We all agreed not to use physical force on one another (most people would pretty much consider this a “given”, but with three growing boys who like to wrestle and can break furniture with their wrestling, it’s got to be said!).  We all agreed to continue with guidelines on positive language and on electronic use—which in our family includes the TV—and reinforcing our family guidelines and individual goals with our “Star Charts” . 
Last week, the kids prompted the planning part of the meeting.  They wanted to learn more about solving arguments between one another.  Finding information about solving arguments between siblings seems to be a difficult task.  What information I could find describes problem solving as a three-step process:  managing anger, listening, and somehow resolving the problem.  Today, we discussed this process and ways to manage anger.  As a start, we decided to try one way to manage anger.  They also said that forced “time outs”, as a way to manage anger, don’t work.  This was news to me.  They said that all these “time outs” do is to cause resentment.  They said that when they sit for a “time out” all they think about is how upset they are.  To think that this is a technique touted by child advocates for years.  It is eye-opening to have this feedback from kids.  Also, the kids decided that it would be a good idea to come up with our own family-way of resolving problems.  My husband and I decided this was a great idea—as long as it doesn’t involve wrestling or breaking furniture!   


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