Monday, April 19, 2010

PD Tool Card: Another Family Conference Update

(Originally posted at Rational Jenn)

Okay, I think this will be the last official Family Conference update I'll do for a while, now that things are settling down to a routine. In case you forgot what happened in last week's episode, you can find it here.

This week's conference was a little unusual in that A.) it took place at the cabin, and B.) we had four members of our extended family in attendance. At least two of the family members have read my blog posts about previous family meetings conferences, and we brought the others up to speed about their purpose. I figured that we might as well have our Family Conference with everyone there, since they are all part of our family after all, and I wanted to keep up with our routine. I'm not sure what they expected at first, but they all played along nicely. (Thanks!)

Morgan was Queen of this week's Conference. I talked to her a little about the agenda before we got started yesterday morning, just after breakfast. I was pretty impressed that she remembered most of the major points independently. Our agenda was:

  • Call Family Conference to Order
  • Wish Ryan a Happy Birthday (Morgan's idea!)
  • Family Calendar
  • Compliments (again, her idea to put it this far back in the agenda)
  • Choose the next King/Queen/El Presidente
  • Allowance/Get ready to go home and have birthday cake

We didn't have our bell, so she just announced "Hey it's time for the Family Conference!" I tried suggested that she just say "ding!" but I guess she didn't like that idea. Oh well. Her plan worked nicely, particularly since everyone was already seated around the dining room table. :o)

She suggested we all wish Ryan a Happy Birthday. I asked him if he wanted us to sing and he declined (we sang later when he blew out the candles on his cake). So we all cheered "Happy Birthday, Ryan!" with a few WooHoos thrown in for good measure as I recall.

Next we reviewed the calendar, including detailed plans for the day (since we had many grand birthday-related plans), and then the week. Everyone was happy to know that our family was staying until today (they left a little while ago). And in addition to our normal kid activities, I am attending my second Positive Discipline Workshop on Friday and Saturday, so this really will be an unusual week for us.

Calendar reviewed, it was finally time to get on with the compliments. Everyone, including our out-of-towners, took part in the love-fest, and it was very cute and smile-inducing. :o)

Ryan will be next week's President, and allowance was not-quite-handed out as the CFO/Treasurer of the Family* did not have the cash on hand. Will rectify that today.

And that was pretty much it! Almost boring, yes? :o) I'm sure some funny things were said, but if there were, my brain appears to have misplaced them (Brendan? Uncle B? Nonnie?).

You know what? That's okay. Establishing this family habit has taken 5 weeks, but it's been worth it. I think if we do keep this habit going, it will become such a valuable way for the five of us (plus guests!) to reconnect in a nice way (those compliments!) and problem-solve and keep track of all of our many goings-on. I have been told by many that getting into this habit while the kids are young will pay off in spades as they get older, when our calendars and problems become more complicated. And I'll be sure to keep you posted if anything super-interesting happens at our future Conferences!

*Uh, me.

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