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Family Team Meetings

One way for the family to share its values is to have family team meetings. During family team meetings members share their feelings. They discuss family dreams and goals. They decide upon tasks and choose who will do them. Family team meetings are a place where parents and kids can support each other during hard times. Regular family team meetings can strengthen the bond between family members.

Values are learned while members work together at the meetings. For example, if parents show fairness and respect at the meetings, kids will come to know that these are values of the family. If parents show each child that his or her work is important to the team, that child will begin to feel valued as a family team member.

Family team meetings do not need to be formal. Meal times or after meal times are possible choices. It is important to include the whole family as often as everyone can come. Some families hold extra team meetings during times of difficulty or crisis. Happy news is also shared at family meetings. Families have meetings to plan and work on special shared events. Each person in the family can have a part in the team meeting. Everyone can agree to do some tasks needed to reach family goals.

Family values shape the goals that families choose. If a family decides to visit a grandparent twice a week, they may be expressing values of family unity and respect for aging members. A family that values reading might plan a weekly family trip to the library. Another family that values study to advance at work or school might choose the same goal.

Family teams work toward their goals by sharing tasks. Tasks that are new to any member can first be done with a family "buddy" who knows how to do the task. A young child may need help wiping the sink. A parent who has never done the wash may need help separating light and dark clothing. The members at a family meeting may make decisions about who will do which task and if it is time to change the plan.

Certain decisions are not made at family meetings. Parents must make them alone or with other adults. Sometimes discussing the reason for these decisions at a family team meeting helps children to understand what is happening and how they will be affected.

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