The only way I cook whole chicken is... whole!
Roasted in the oven is good, but I usually do beer-can chicken on the barbecue. We have one of those beer-can roaster stands, and actually I find it's just as good with a can half-full of applejuice, or water or even nothing at all. Lovely crispy skin!
Depending on the age of your children, a whole chicken can make 3 meals.
1 - Roast chicken, carved - you and your DH each have approx. 1/4 chicken, kids have another quarter. Or are they too grossed out to eat chicken pieces that are still on the bone? That'd be a whole 'nother issue.....
2 - Shred off as much of the remaining chicken as you can manage, setting aside bones and skin in a large pot. Do this while the chicken is still warm, and use your hands. It's easier to pick off while it's still warm, and using your hands you won't miss any bones. The shredded chicken can be used for a 2nd meal, like tacos, burritos, wraps or a casserole.
3 - Boil the bones and skin to make stock. Drain, and pick of the last bit of meat for soup. Refridgerate stock overnight and skim off the fat. Bulk up the soup with potatoes or rice, carrots, onion and celery. Add back some of the shredded chicken.