Many years ago a family sat down every night to a family meal.

During this time of bonding and being together, many issues were discussed and plans were made and boundaries were negotiated and problems were solved and questions answered.

A camaraderie grew between the siblings and through chatting they learnt to know how each other ticked and what was important in their lives.

Parents need to avoid making excuses that there is no time for family discussions.

Yes, with ultra-busy parents and children/teenagers when is this supposed to happen?

Could parents rather say: ‘Let us, the whole family make a plan to have short family discussions’

Why do families need to organise family meetings?  To get to know each other…

Parents will learn more about their children/teenagers and what is happening in their lives if they stop and listen to them.  Parents will get to know what their children/teenagers are thinking and believing by listening to the words, statements and questions they ask.

Also by listening to them and allowing them to chatter parents will be more aware of what they are discussing or even doing with their friends. They usually blurt out secrets when chatting casually…

Parents will need to instigate family discussions. They need to make the discussions short with a few points, like who is going where in the next week and some ideas about which the children/teenagers can think. Drop an idea into a non-listening environment and it will be gone forever.

To get the children/teenagers attention make the discussions fun with their favourite foods in the offering.

Next time I shall give you more pointers on having beneficial and family discussions.