Monday, March 29, 2010

PD Tool Card: Family Meeting Update

(Originally posted at Rational Jenn)

We had our second Family Meeting yesterday evening. We'd intended to do it in the morning, but things got a little crazy with Morgan's birthday party in the afternoon.

It was only our second such meeting (read about the first one here), but I think it went pretty well. We kept some things the same, and made a few changes.

Morgan, as was decided at last week's meeting, was Queen of the Meeting this week. She wanted me to remind her what she needed to talk about so I helped her remember the agenda. It was:

  • Compliments
  • Calendar
  • Problem-Solving (Toy Bins in the Playroom, brought to the FM by Mommy)
  • Choosing the King/Queen for Next Week
  • Birthday Cake/Allowance

Ryan seemed interested in participating this week, and when Morgan was trying to call us to order, he suggested that she ring a bell. It was a great suggestion, and everyone loved it! Morgan dinged the bell enthusiastically, Seanie got excited, Brendan and I came to the table . . . and Ryan disappeared. Hmph. We asked him to participate, and he said he didn't want to. He had better things to do. So we sallied forth without him, but we'll use the bell idea from now on.

Morgan led the compliments with a big dimply smile (no squeeze-y hugs this week, just dimply smiles!). We all paid each other compliments, and even gave some to Eavesdropping Boy and Sean.

Then we talked about this week's calendar. Our Big Event this week is Morgan's birthday tomorrow! Having had her party yesterday afternoon, it was a big dimply-smiled discussion full of cuteness. Brendan told her he was leaving work early tomorrow to come home so we could take her out for dinner.

Even though I'd wanted to hold off on problem-solving until we'd had a few more meetings under our belts, we had an issue come up this week and I thought we'd give it a try. The problem I brought up was that I was upset and frustrated to find the various toy containers in the playroom A.) all dumped out at once, B.) used as containers for non-toy items, such as small children, causing them to get bent out of shape and otherwise damaged, C.) the costumes (of which we have many) were often all off the hangers at once.

Now, Ryan and I had discussed this the other day while he and I were cleaning up. But Morgan wasn't there for the discussion, so I wanted us all to talk about it. Since Ryan refused to come to the Family Meeting, it didn't go quite as I'd hoped, with everyone chipping in ideas for solving this problem. However, Brendan and I did mention somewhat loudly that it would be awesome if everyone had a say in coming up with solutions, and that if you don't take this opportunity, you might be bound by some rules you didn't agree to!

To no avail, although Brendan and Ryan had an interesting discussion after the meeting about The Constitution and how our Founders had lots of meetings to create those rules and how you had to show up or risk everyone else agreeing on a rule that you hated without you getting to tell them why. We think some of it sunk in his head. Let's put it this way, he agreed with all of the ideas and premises just fine, but stopped short at applying the principles to his own life and situation. Only connect . . . . What can I say? He's still a kid.

But I digress.

Brendan, Morgan, and I agreed on some Playroom Rules, and she and I wrote them up and posted them today. Here they are!

New Playroom Rules on Twitpic

Then it came time to choose the King/Queen of next week's meeting. Morgan and I nominated Daddy, since he hadn't had a turn yet. He accepted, but then . . . Mr. Ryan decided HE wanted a turn to be King. He told us that he'd come to the meeting next week if he could be King. There was some discussion, and some people were inclined to agree with this idea.

But then I brought up the point that I didn't think it was fair to be the King or Queen if you didn't show up to the meetings when you weren't a King or Queen. Morgan and Brendan agreed with this and we told Ryan that he was welcome to be King of a future meeting, but that he'd have to show up to a meeting first. No fair not participating unless he got to be King (which is how he was thinking, I think, because this kid enjoys POWER, let me tell you!). So we agreed that Brendan would be next week's King. Ryan took it surprisingly well. I'm waiting with bated breath to find out if he makes it to next week's meeting, as I'm sure you are, too!

And then we all had some birthday cake!

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