Family "meetings or gatherings" on a regular basis begun early with your young children, can present the perfect arena for creating and sustaining a value infrastructure of nurturing communication your family.
"Family-dinner-time" is enjoying a resurgence. Advertisers of food products and "eating in" are jumping over each other to promote the trend. Take advantage of it, it's a good thing
Step One: Start During the Christmas Break.
o Everyone in the family is more relaxed. The Christmas tree lights etc. offer an environment of softness.
o Schedules are less likely to interfere with the amount of time you can spend together.
o By the time the kids return to school it'll already be a family habit.
Step Two: Parents should talk it over first.
o Make sure you're united in the effort and its objective.
o It won't work if you are not in agreement about the value of family gatherings.
Step Three: Plan How to Tell the Family.
o Make sure when you introduce the idea of gathering together that the environment is encouraging and upbeat.
o Don't sabotage the whole idea before it even begins. It would be better not to rush if either parent is too negative.
My husband and I started our system of family-nurturing communication when our children, now adults, were four and seven. It lasted throughout their teens. The dynamics changed often to adjust to their needs but the foundation of sibling-support and respect did not. Having a regular discussion time helped our children know they could talk to their father and me about their concerns; it also brought about courtesy at home.Steps to a Family-Nurturing Communication Strategy
Huldah Gibbs Jones, a retired Vision Therapist, was Technical Director of the Orthoptic Center of Helene Fuld Medical Center in New Jersey