Family Councils are a good way to let children know they matter to the group. As you meet as a group and talk with your children:

  1. Include them in decisions

  2. Listen to their opinions

  3. Ask for their suggestions

These meetings are a pivotal place to create and fulfill goals. However, sometimes it's necessary to have a meeting to plan the family council so that you are helping each of your children become the best they can be.

Mom and Dad sat in the porch swing.

Mom shifted in her seat. “Gabriel (age 6) has had several temper tantrums this week.”

Dad looked down at her. “I hadn’t noticed. But now that you mention it, you’re right.”

“Sometimes I see him as caught right in the middle of the kids—an older sister who is the star of everything, an older brother that you and everyone else sees as a great math whiz, and a baby sister that everyone adores.”

Dad chuckled, “What’s not to love about that little curly blond bundle of energy.”

“I just think Gabriel needs a self-esteem boost.” Mom sighed. “I’ve been thinking it’s his turn to conduct family council this week. Maybe we could surprise him with a spot light night. A ‘Who Am I’ poster like we made for school last year.”

“Great,” said Dad.

“I’ll have Mia (age 10) make up a little song for him, and maybe Gavan (age 8) will play a game of catch with him before dinner. Alexis (age 4) can help me make his favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe.”

“This is all well and good,” said Dad, “but one night isn’t going to fix everything.”

“We haven’t done parent date nights for a while,” said Mom. “I’ll take him to the dinosaur museum. He loves that.”

“Great idea,” said Dad, “and I’m glad we’ve had this conversation. I need to play catch with him a couple of nights a week myself.”

Mom glanced up at him. “I get what you’re saying. The spot light and date night are good, but it’s the little things we do daily that will make a difference.” She sighed. “Sometimes I just scoot him off to bed before I rock Alexis to sleep. Maybe I can spend a little more time with him each evening.”

“I call this a great planning meeting,” said Dad. “Let’s do this more often.”

The parents:

  1. Identified the problem behavior. (Temper tantrums)

  2. Assessed the unmet need. (Lack of attention and love)

  3. Set a plan in motion for family council. (Spot light night)

  4. Planned special activities with the child. (Date night)

  5. Set aside daily time to spend with their son. (Playing ball and time in the evening)

All of us require times of accountability. This parental goal-setting session was informal, but helped both adults focus on the family problem and how to correct it. The family council was the catalyst for change in this family. It helped the parents follow through with special events and daily actions that helped their son feel loved and reduced his temper tantrums.

Learn how to establish your own family councils, set goals, and open the communication with your children. Read more stories like this one in Family Talk by Christy Monson, available in paperback and e readers June 1, 2014.
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Christy Monson, a retired family therapist, provides in simple language concrete examples and clear language to family success through family councils.   While families are diverse and the...
The Family Council Guidebook

Christy Monson

Christy Monson established a successful counseling practice in Las Vegas, Nevada, as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Her books, Love, Hugs, and Hope: When Scary Things Happen, and Becoming Free: A Woman's Guide To Internal Strength are publ... Read More




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