The Power of the Pow Wow!
When I start working with a new family as a counsellor one of the first things I help them to do is to make a family charter.
The family gather around the kitchen table and talk about the way they would like to feel at home and what they can do to make those feelings happen.
I’ve been thinking about suggesting the idea of having regular family meeting for a while, and right now I feel it’s even more relevant to bring families together and keep them talking in an open and connected way.
Lockdown life has meant that as families many of us are sharing our homes in a whole new way. Our individual screens have saved the day becoming our offices, schools, gyms, social hub, shopping centres, creativity outlet and entertainment platforms.
Over this prolonged, unexpected and uncertain time, it seems to have become increasingly easy to get tucked away in our very own independent online worlds.
Unique schedules on different screens has meant that if we’re not careful we can be at home but not at home and more often than not connecting far more with those online than with those we love and live with.
So, what do you think about the idea of making family meetings a part of your family routine to bring everyone together as a team? Communication and teamwork are after all at the heart of all good and successful relationships.
The regular routine of family meetings creates connection and a sense of coming together as a family, it teaches problem solving, courage, resilience, responsibility, conflict skills.
Family meetings give your children a voice and teach everyone accountability.
What’s not to love!
What does they look like? A family meeting is a regular (once a week) gathering of the family that follows a regular format.
Meeting Agenda -Keep a notebook open in a communal space somewhere where everyone can write down the points they would like to be discussed at the meeting.
Listening- Remind everyone that listening is key and everyone will have their turn to speak without being interrupted.
Start the meeting with compliments- Each person gives everyone including themselves a compliment. Compliments set an upbeat and positive tone and help everyone remember the good things about the week.
A compliment or a statement of appreciation could be: “Thanks Fred for helping me with my homework yesterday.” Or “Thank you Dad for going on a bike ride with me.”
It’s appropriate to respond to the compliment with a “thank you “too.
Giving compliments may not come naturally at first so parents may need to teach and model giving compliments.
Problem Solving- The family finds solutions to any problems listed in the agenda.
Planning- Here’s the time to talk about what’s going on in the week ahead, time too to talk about meal planning and job sharing and a great opportunity to organise a fun family outing or activity.
Are you willing to give it a go?
The key to getting started is to take it slowly.
If you go in all guns blazing with too much over excitement with this fantastic idea you’ve had, you will probably put everyone right off before you've even begun! So, start simple, make it short and sweet and build from there.
I’m sure it won’t take long before everyone’s asking when the next meeting will be!
If you give it a go, please let me know how you get on I would love to hear. Lulu x
A couple of recently published articles by Lulu Luckock
Dear Mamas, please be gentle on yourself this lock down.
January 2021 read it on Mumfidential
Looking after ourselves during these uncertain times is sensible, not selfish.
read it on Mumfidential
The term ‘self-care’ is widely used, heard a lot and in danger of becoming an overused term.
Often confused with being selfish, self-care is actually taking action to consciously look after you. And this is so important, particularly during these complicated and uncertain times.
Self-care is crucial to your wellbeing, mental health and basic survival; as the saying goes, ‘you can’t pour from and empty cup.’
Being kind to yourself and making time to nourish your mind, body and spirit isn’t easy when living a full-on family life.
The truth is you are allowed to slow down, you are allowed to take breaks from your never ending to do lists and ongoing jobs, you can slow down and take time out.
By taking care of yourself you nourish yourself from within, which enables you to take on everything else that out there.
Self-care comes in many forms but the base line is that we are taking responsibility to actively look after all the different bits of ourselves.
What is self-care?
It is the actions we take as individuals to set healthy boundaries, know our own limits, and make time for fun, rest and exercise everyday.
It’s the actions we take to eat well, making time for rest, recuperation, with a regular healthy sleep routine.
It’s the actions we take to nurture our spiritual self with gratitude, yoga meditation/prayer.
It’s about spending time and making connections with like-minded people.
It’s the relief we experience when we express the way we really feel with a trusted person in a safe space.
It’s about how we get to know ourselves and grow a bit more every day with kindness, self-acceptance and compassion.
Investing time in yourself looks different to everyone but it shares the same fundamental message and that is that you value and care for yourself.
As parents we are the greatest role models of mental health and emotional wellness that our children have.
They take the lead from us as we lead by our example. By showing them how you care, value and look after yourself you will allow them to do the same too.
When we feel better balanced and grounded at our core we feel happier.
When we feel happier those around us are happier too.
What’s not to love?