Family Meetings: They’re Worth It

About five years ago a therapist recommended that we hold weekly family meetings. The idea is to come together without any pressure, check-in, offer support to one another, and have fun. As a dedicated mom, of course, I was interested in strengthening communication and cementing a stronger family bond. But honestly, I wasn’t sure how I felt about it at first.

I already felt like I was giving all of myself to my family, and now I was supposed to be responsible for a structured evening once a week…one with checklists and to-dos? Five years later, I’m glad I pushed through my initial resistance because our weekly family meetings have become a treasured tradition.

How to Hold a Family Meeting

How to Hold a Family Meeting

Pick the same night every week. Over the course of time, we’ve had to adjust the day of the week to accommodate changing schedules. But, for large periods of time, we stick to the same day of the week. That way, we all know the day, and we schedule around it.

Rotate who leads the meeting. Everyone gets a turn to lead the meeting. The leader holds a couple of important roles: they pick the meal and the game.

A family who cooks together stays together. While the leader picks the meal, everyone in the family pitches in preparing the meal, setting the table, doing the dishes, serving dessert, etc.

Holding a Family Meeting

Holding a Family Meeting

Follow an agenda.

  • Have a general check-in. What’s going on at school and work? How was the last week? What were some struggles and accomplishments? How’s everyone feeling? How are friends and co-workers? Do a general check-in of glows and glums.
  • Pick a talking point or theme. We change up how we do this (lesson learned from Potential Pitfall #3 below). We’ve covered things from writing a family mission statement and vision statement to identifying our family values. We’ve focused a week on each value and then circled back around. Currently, each week we discuss our word for the year. We use the leader’s word and share experiences as well as identify opportunities for each other around that word. For example, my word is self-care, so when I was the leader, we all chatted about the importance of self-care, how we’ve shown self-care in the last week, and some ideas for each of us in the upcoming weeks.
  • Money and allowance: We don’t give allowances (that’s another topic altogether), but if you do, this is a great time to talk about it. As your kids get older, this is also a good opportunity to talk about general saving, spending, and giving.
  • Ask for support and help. Close the meeting by asking, “How can we help and support you this week?” This can be with schoolwork, accountability, chores, or whatever. This is one of my favorite parts of the meeting. After all, many hands make light work, and knowing your family is a source of support really enforces the idea that you’re not going it alone.

Play a game and have fun! The leader picks the game that is played. In the winter months, we definitely pick board games or the like. In summer months, we can get outdoors and do bike rides, soccer, badminton, Nerf war, etc. You just really want to have fun, cheer each other on, and maybe strengthen some math skills during Yahtzee.

Holding a Family Meeting

Potential Pitfalls

  1. Sometimes you’re just too tired and don’t feel like it. Isn’t that the truth? On these nights we may do an abbreviated version. If we don’t feel like we’re hitting everything that we want to hit, then we still have the meeting, but we let the leader go again next week to pick a proper meal and a fun game.
  2. Crabby moods can make for crabby meetings. Sometimes we bring home crabby moods. No Bueno. In this case, we try to shake things off (literally, we’ll jump and shake and see if we feel better). The person who is especially crabby gets a pass. Of course, we highly encourage participation, but if all you have to contribute is going to bring everyone down, it’s best you just sit there and sip on your hot chocolate.
  3. They can get boring. Yep, we’ve run into this on occasion. Changing things up from what you talk about, how you have your conversations (try random sentence starters pulled from a jar or rolling dice to think of a relevant work with that many letters), to where you hold the meetings (picnic on the living room floor instead of dining at the table, eating outdoors, talk while you’re doing yoga poses, etc.). Just try new things and be silly.
  4. Homework can ruin the best of anything. My. Word. Plan ahead and have this done before the meeting. This has ruined a family meeting or two.
  5. The talking point or theme can get heavy and/or heated. Not all family meetings are sunshine and rainbows. Before the rainbow appears, there might have been some rain or even thunderstorms. The point is family meetings are a place to talk about serious things, too. Offer grace and assurance that no matter what family is forever and each others’ number one fan.
  6. Didn’t go grocery shopping. Since the leader picks the meal, sometime before the meeting I ask what they want to have for dinner. That gives me time to pickup the needed groceries. However, when there’s a crazy week, and I haven’t had time to get to the store, having a Plan B is essential. So, in addition to what meal do you want to make, I also ask which restaurant the leader would like to order carryout from. This will save that last minute crisis of not having the proper ingredients. 

Do you hold weekly family meetings? I’d love learn from you!
What does your agenda look like, and what are some things that you talk about?

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Kimberly Wyman
Kimberly Wyman is a global mom of a multicultural family, a social entrepreneur and author and illustrator of children’s books. Her recent release, Grow LOVE, was Amazon’s #1 new release and best seller. Kimberly’s passion is nurturing givers, growers, and gigglers and she helps families to connect, reset, and explore the pillars of being a global citizen. Grab a FREE download of LOVE Notes & Tags over at to spread some LOVE!


  1. This is like the greatest thing ever!!!! I’m so excited to try on our next round of kids (we have a baby) … is it too late for our young teenagers? Really feel like even if there not into the idea at first we could really get them on board once it becomes a tradition…. any modifications you’d suggest? Thanks!!!!

    • It’s NOT too late for anyone especially young teenagers! I find that kids really yearn for structure and support – of course this is nothing they’d admit because they themselves can’t articulate it. The only modification that I would suggest, would be to start by identifying rolls in the family for each of you specifically. Understanding where everyone is currently and what the family expectations are of that role will be a good foundation from which to work. That might even be your first family meeting! I would follow that with identifying a family mission statement and family values. I’m wishing you so much success and cheering you on!

  2. Hi Kimberly,

    Love your way of doing the family meetings👍👍👍! Having family meetings is a very constructive way to build up the family bond and maintain the harmony and strengthen the love and the respect among the family members. It is teaching the children from young age to share, consultate and take responsibilities for their own contribution to the well-being of others.

    We had in my parents house family meetings, I think we started when I was about 15 years old. But I think that introducing these at a younger age is much better. Thanks to these meetings I think I have a very close bond with my brother and sister and also with my parents, something I don’t meet so much in my surrounding.

    The family is a corner stone of the society. How we behave in the family, we behave also in the society. Further the joy of one family member is contributing to the joy of the other family members. And when one family member has pain, the others suffer too.

    Every family member needs to do their best for the well-being of the family. Everyone has rights and responsibilities. For example, the father is earning the money, the mother is taking care of the children and the household and the children need to do their best at school, that is their contribution to the family unit.

    In my Idea consultation is the best way to have family meeting. That means in short that every family member should feel free to express their opinion from their heart in love and respect.

    And it is good to involve the children from young age, off course on their child level in making certain family decisions which have influience on all the family members. When one is not agreeing, and the rest have a consensus, the one who is not agreeing needs to accept the decision of the others and follow trough as if he/she has agreed with the full heart, then the real truth will come sooner on the table.

    These are in short some of my ideas and experience. I hope you find these useful.

    Thank you for asking my opinion. God bless you and your lovely family, I enjoy seeing your posts on IG.

    Warm greetings and I wish you much success with spreading your wonderful message 💗.


    • Thanks so much, Natasha! I value your perspective and appreciate your wisdom. I love that regardless of where families reside, we all have shared values and experiences. Families are the cornerstone of society – I wholly agree with you on that!!!

  3. Great read! This is something I will now implement into our family schedule, I can definitely see how this can benefit us all.

    • I’m excited that you’ll adding this to your family routine! I know how hectic life is on an every day basis, but I think this is definitely a great addition! Wishing you much success with it and cheering you on!

  4. This post is spot on, Kimberly! We used to have family meetings when our kids were young. It is SUCH a great bonding time. Now that I’m an empty-nester I miss those meetings that definitely made us close! If I remember correctly, we didn’t have a leader. What a great idea! We learned so much during our family meetings! Thank you for sharing these tips! 🙂 xoxo

    • It’s so nice to have the perspective of someone who’s already gone through this process with their children who are now grown. It’s encouraging and insightful that I’m on the right track! Thank you!

  5. Great article!!! As a mom of two tweens that go back and forth between me and their Dad, I love the idea of incorporating a weekly touch point into our life. I think it will smooth out the transitions. I also appreciate the inclusion of “potential pitfalls”-it gives me permission to just start without worrying about perfect execution! Thank you!!!

    • Thanks, Jacki! The dynamic of balancing two homes definitely adds an additional layer. I think family meetings will be helpful to provide dedicated space to check-in and hopefully strengthen communication between all family members. Wishing you much success and cheering you on!


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