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How To Lead a Great Family Meeting!


Family Meetings are important and helpful.

Family Meetings are not easy!

"Uhhh - Why are we doing this?"

"No, I'm not coming." 

"This is stupid - Can we not do this?"

"Mom, Why do you always have to be so dramatic?"

Eye-Roll.  "Ughhhhhhh! This is lame."

If this sounds familiar, this article is for you.


1. Tell Your Kids Ahead Of Time So They Can Emotionally Prepare

Some surprises are good. Others are not.

No one likes surprise pop quizzes in school.

They are the worst kind of surprise.

In the same way, if you don't have a history of having good Family Meetings in your home, your kids/teens will probably not respond well if you just pop it on them!


2. Mandatory Attendance

If a Family Meeting is something new for your kids, it will be normal for them to whine, joke or complain about it. This is a natural (and immature) way for teens to express their emotions of fear, discomfort, powerlessness, and many other feelings they may have. 

You may have a child say, "No, I am not coming."


This is the time for you to be the parent.

"I need everyone to come and be ready to show love, care and helpfulness."

If your child or teen doesn't want to come, then talk to them one-on-one about it. Ask them why...and tell them how much their attendance means to you.

If your child/teen still doesn't attend, that means you are experiencing defiance in your home, and well, then this article may not be for you. You can't have a great Family Meeting if you don't have all of the family member present!


3. Speak For No More Than 20-30 Seconds At A Time.

No tween/teenager likes a lecture or a pep-talk. If you speak to a young person longer than 20-30 seconds, you have gone tooooooo long. You are lecturing. You are giving a pep-talk.

And if you lecture, you will lose your audience.... and kill your Family Meeting.

Speaking with a young person should feel like a ping-pong match. Back and forth, back and forth, repeat.

Engage your kids with good questions. 

Help them understand that their voice matters, is powerful, and you care about how they feel and what they want.

4. Share Feelings and Emotions, Not Just Facts/Labels

A Family Meeting is not a business meeting.

A Family Meeting is not a sports team meeting.

 A Family Meeting is special. Intimate. Emotional. Bonding.

When you have a Family Meeting, make sure you speak with BOTH your head and your heart.

If you speak with just your head, your tween/teen audience is probably going to check out. (Slouching, eye-rolling, put-downs, dead body stares, etc...)

Want to connect with your kid's hearts and minds? Open your heart. Get in touch with your feelings. Be vulnerable. When you do this, they will learn from you how to do it themselves, and follow your lead.

Your kids will never tell you this, but they need you to model this for them. If you don't teach them how to speak from their heart, then who will?


5. Set The Meeting Goal: More Love, Harmony, Closeness and Respect

Parent, you are the leader of this little crew.

The CEO.

The Captain.

The Coach.

The Boss.

You are the most powerful and influential person in the room. What you say matters.

So when you speak, make sure your words are filled with gentleness, kindness, assertiveness, goodness, and respect.

Don't abuse your power or lose control of your emotions.

Show your kids an example of how a healthy adult acts during a Family Meeting.

Listen well. Listen First. 

Let love and goodness fuel every word.


6. Emphasize Love, Teamwork and Problem Solving

 When you speak, use language and verbiage that rallies your team love.

Help your family see that every a family issue and love is the answer.

Use words that...

Help your son know that when he forgets to do the garbage it hurts everyone. and doing the garbage is loving.

Let your hot-tempered daughter know that when she loses her tempter, it hurts the entire house.

Let your passionate son know he is a powerful member of this team, and how words, actions and behavior affect everyone...loving and unloving.

Let your quiet daughter know that she is influential and that her words matter, and you want her to speak up because you care about how she feels and what she has to say.

Let your avoidant son know that this is what a loving, normal family does. It gathers in Family Meetings to address issues and learn and grow together.

Let your sensitive daughter know that you aren't picking on her, but that this is your way of guiding and mentoring her into adulthood and maturity.

Click HERE to go deeper with our coaching!


Be Strong. Stay Close. Teach Wisdom.

 Your Friend,

Sean Donohue

Family Coach 

Founder of

Click HERE for Sean's article, "Why Teens Need EQ Skills".