More Tips for Military Families with Teens – Tip #40

Tip #40 – Family Meetings

It doesn’t have to be formal and you might not want to use the words ‘family meeting’ but you need to be meeting and touching base at least once a week with your teen and the rest of your family.  Make this meeting as much a part of your schedule as watching your favourite TV show, sleeping, brushing your teeth and/or eating.

Suggestions:

* Have a set time when your entire family knows to be in the house and around (this will also help if your loved one is away and trying to get in touch with you; he/she will know that this is a time in the week when everyone is there)

* Make it clear to everyone that they are not to schedule appointments, dates, or any plans for this one night a week

* Have food your family likes to encourage them to show up even more

* Avoid having other people over at this time as you may want to have serious discussions or talk about family concerns that would make someone else feel very awkward

* Don’t sweat the small stuff – pick your battles and let go of the little things that may end up being a focus and cause you all to miss the opportunity to talk about the things that really matter

* Make it a time in the week that is fun and avoid saving issues to discuss all at this time as then it will be something that everyone avoids like the plague

* Give the night a fun theme or name (in our house it is called movie night – yes, we watch a movie then but we also all eat dinner together first and chat about things that have happened in the week.  It is important that everything else stops and we just spend time together)

* Have fun anyway you can and make it a time to be silly together, laugh together and enjoy eachother’s company – once that is established you will be able to talk about issues that are important, schedule events and discuss concerns

For more information about our blogs, books and resources go to: www.whileyouwereaway.org

To submit a tip or suggestion write to: megan@whileyouwereaway.org

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