Anyone have luck with family meetings? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 07-27-2006, 11:54 PM - Thread Starter
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So I am a stepmom to 3 teenage boys and have a dd 10yrs old. It seems the biggest problem our blended family has is a lack of communication. I will express my frustration to my dh and he will not hear a word I have said and then he will express his frustration , and the kids - well they look to us for the answers. And they need them - there is conflict between his middle child and my dd. Among other frustrations. So I was wondering if a weekly family meeting will be helpful or just frustrate everyone. I will say our blended family fairs pretty well - I have heard some painful stories, but there are still some disheartening issues that always seem to pop up. What I think it really comes down to is me and my dh love our biological children so much we fight to make a balanced family, but maybe it is impossible. Anyway I just cant visualize a familymeeting working for us. First of all i have a husband with 3 teenage boys who at the thought of sharing their feelings probably sounds really not fun. We are not the type of family that plans a lot of fun filled family activities together - so we cant discuss that. i mean we eat dinner together, we run a business, we try to spend time outside near the pool together, but beyond that money and time. Well what can I say. The kids no their weekly duties already, so not much to discuss there. i guess I was hoping for me a family meeting would give me and everybody else insight and maybe some relief regarding these blended issues we seem to have. But i just dont know where to start?
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#2 of 5 Old 07-28-2006, 12:01 AM
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Hi, no advice but I'm interested to see what others have to say.
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#3 of 5 Old 07-28-2006, 12:34 AM
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When my s-kids first moved in it was chaos! So we started doing "family meetings" once or twice a week. The kids thought it was a big joke. They wouldnt really listen to what we were trying to talk about, kept making noises or jokes and they'd all be laughing. Then we realized that it was working! Yah, so, they didnt hear the reason we wanted the meeting but they (we) were all getting along and bonding. The bonding was mostly them making fun loving jokes at our expense mind you.

It was a new way of communicating, thats for sure. It felt forced at first. "Okay, kids gather around the table its time for a family meeting" was not a way I normally spoke. But life is about change, right?

Granted, our oldest was only 10 at the time. But I think even though it will feel weird at first, it will help. You could have an anonyomos (sooo cant spell that word) suggestion box; each child gets 15 min to be the center of attention; or a no replies to what I love/hate right now. (you can say what you love/hate regarding anything, but its not up for discussion - eg: I hate the way your pet turtle smells. Okay, who's next?

I say go for it! There's many ways to conduct one, so try some different ways out for feel.

Good Luck!

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#4 of 5 Old 07-29-2006, 12:49 PM
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We recently had a family meeting, first with dd and her father (my ex-h) and then with dd and my dp. It went better than expected. I've also had success with sit-downs with my x-h's dp and her dd, myself and my dd. Keep in mind, this is almost 4 years after my divorce. It took alot of patience to get to this point. The only suggestion about family meetings, try to keep them short. After about 15 minutes, my 8 yr old has had enough. Good luck.

"While Eeyore frets ...and Piglet hesitates...and Rabbit calculates...and Owl pontificates...Pooh just is."
taken from The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff
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#5 of 5 Old 08-03-2006, 08:33 PM
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The ( anonymous) suggestion box is brilliant - We ( kids & I ) also talked about using one in our house. The older 2 kids especially liked the idea! Btw, Step kids move in full time Sept 1st - wish me luck !

Yes, we have had a few family meetings they were weird at first but anything new is always strange at first ykwim ? Talking it out has been huge in resolving all sorts of issues in our house. Good luck !
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