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Family Meetings Help Kids Discuss and Build Character Too

By Jean Tracy. MSS

When my boys were growing up, soccer, football, and basketball kept us on the run. Both my husband (Jim's a psychologist) and I were therapists. We helped others manage their lives yet our own lives were spinning out of control. We knew we needed to make face-to-face time with our boys. We wanted them to share our values, to learn how to solve people problems, and to have family fun together.

Worried about who's influencing your kids? Are your family members too busy for each other? Do activities, television, and computers replace family time? If so, there is an answer.

We decided to start Family Meetings so we bought one of those books with empty pages. We scheduled our meetings the same time every week, right after Sunday breakfast.

Our youngest son, Brian, was only four when we started. I remember laughing to myself when his brother, Scott, age 8, got mad because Brian always chose the same thing "to make the family better." "I'll draw a picture for the refrigerator, promised Brian. "That doesn't make the family better, argued Scott. Brian kept on drawing pictures.

Over the years we found many ways "to make the family better:"

1. We played family games.

2. We planned family trips.

3. The boys promised to do their homework before playing.

4. Scott promised not to tease Brian.

5. Brian promised to clear the table right after dinner, etc.

Once we got started we felt a special closeness as we worked together. You will too. That's why I created Character Building with the Family Meeting Diary.

Remember how Brian always drew pictures to "make the family better?" Brian's an adult now. He still draws pictures. In fact, he designed my website. Be sure and take a peak. It's listed below.

About The Author

Jean Tracy. MSS

Subscribe to Jean's Free parenting newsletter, Tips and Tools for Character Builders at rates over 101,000 newsletters. Jean's newsletter rated in the top ten for parenting!

You'll also find Character Building with the Family Meeting Diary at

Download Free parenting tips at too.


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