Family “Fun” Meetings

March 11, 2011 — 14 Comments

 

I discovered this old yellow notebook with the words Family Mtgs. scrawled near the top. Upon seeing it, my heart warmed and a smile appeared, as memories of days-gone-by flooded my mind. Opening the notebook to the first page I discovered the following information:

 

 

Family Meeting – June 28, 1992

President – Dad & Paul

V. President – Daniel

Secretary – Mom & Steph

Police Officer – Drew

I laughed out loud at that last line…Police Office – Drew. Being the youngest, he was the typical clown when it came to family times together. As family meetings evolved, we created a position where he had some responsibility over the others. It was our ploy to keep him “in check” throughout the meeting.  What’s more… it worked!! He really believed he had authority to “enforce” quietness when needed, or cheering when called for. (I kind of think he still believes this.) At one meeting he arrived toting handcuffs….. just in case he needed them to enforce the rules!

The idea of having Offices like President and V. President happened accidentally at one of our first meetings. We called the children together and told them we were having a family meeting … and they weren’t in trouble. Some one of them asked, “Oh are we electing offices like President, Secretary…… and…. so we did! They loved it and so did we!

In 1992 our son Dan would have been 15 years old, our daughter Steph, 12, Paul 10 and our youngest, Drew, would have been 6 1/2. We started holding family meetings in order to involve the kids in the process of decision-making on things like vacations, chore distribution, family night activities and fund-raising for some of the extra-curricular activities we wanted to do as a family.

At this (recorded) meeting, we opened in prayer and discussed the summer schedule in regard to morning wake-up times, family breakfasts (which included “older” child-led devotions), summer bedtime schedules, and new chore assignments due to summer’s arrival. This particular meeting seemed focused on what we wanted to do as a family on the 4th of July.  There were many ideas offered with an agreeable decision made by the end of the meeting.

I don’t know how long we continued family meetings as our schedules grew busier and the kids grew older, but I do know they served to knit us together in purpose and direction. They helped us learn to discuss ideas in a respectful manner, without arguments (or else the police officer might haul you off to jail). We worked together on a family garage sale to raise money for one of the kids’ programs at our church, we decided as a family where we wanted to go on vacation that summer, we held each other accountable to various age-appropriate responsibilities. And we had fun together!

There are only a few of the meetings recorded in my yellow notebook, but they serve as a great reminder… that our life lived together …. really worked!

 

 

14 responses to Family “Fun” Meetings

  1. This is so great! Aren’t you glad you didn’t toss that notebook in a spring-cleaning frenzy one day?!

  2. FYI Mom, I was promoted to Police Chief years ago. Someone had to keep Dan and Paul in line! I ruled with a stern, but loving hand. They knew who was boss…still do!

  3. As I recall, Drew and I but mostly Drew caused our meetings to take a turn for the worse. We would always get introuble for not being quiet and interrupting the meeting. I dont really know how we got anything done at those meetings. But they were great memories! Thanks for those Mom and Dad.

    • Paul, you are right about the two of you messing around, which is why we made you the President and Drew, the Police Officer! And it worked! The meetings were fun after you became President. : -) And the great thing is … we DID get things done.

  4. I love this, Cheri. I want to be a cool mom just like you. Keep telling these stories and I’ll keep soaking up as much as I possibly can!

    • Ah Ruth, you are so sweet! I don’t know if I was a cool mom or not, I just know I LOVED those days when we were raising the kids. And…I totally LOVE being Mom and now Grandma! Love it!!

  5. I love, love, love this! What a great idea! And so cool that you still have the notebook — that is my kinda woman (sentimental). 🙂

    • Thanks so much Eleanor! I’m so glad I didn’t throw out that notebook! Somehow we always think we’ll remember those special times, but often we don’t remember the details. Finding the record of those meetings was a blessing, plus it made me laugh!

  6. Correction Paul…YOU were the most distracting member of the group!

  7. We are so blessed! God has been and is so good to us! He helped us enjoy being a family and raising our kids. We did not approach it as a burden, but rather as a delight and it was a delight! That doesn’t preclude problems but we had a mission from heaven to raise the kids to love their Heavenly Father and honor Him in whatever they did. We are all still working on that one! You, by the way Cheri’, were and are an awesome and beautiful mother!!!!

  8. Love this! And I will definitely be “stealing” some of your ideas (you always have such good ones) . . .like the family meeting notebook, for sure! What a neat memento. When I hear or read stories about your family, one word that always comes to mind is “fun”. Even now, you have some funny kids (their comments are cracking me up). Your children are blessed to have you and Don as parents. And I am blessed to know you and to be able to learn from you! Thanks for sharing your life.

  9. I loved this post!

    Funny how Drew & Paul are still horsing around while the rest of us are discussing the original idea…..but always amusing and it made/makes for a lot of fun memories!!

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