As a way to combine the business practice of weekly board meetings and connecting with your children or spouse, the family board meeting concept was born. Jim Sheils, author of The Family Board Meeting, conceptualized the idea after he saw a need for enriching his relationship with his family and teaching his children life skills that are often not taught at school.
While it seems like a formal concept and that everyone should be dressing business casual, this is not what it is at all. Family board meetings are fun interactions with your children that enrich your relationship. The whole concept was created because we often feel disconnected to our children. Yes, they have their own busy lives filled with school, friends, and extracurriculars; but as parents, we do too. Family board meetings are a way to bridge that gap and get back to spending quality time with your children that is often overlooked by our busy schedules.
First ask yourself the tough questions:
Am I getting through to my child?
Does my child appreciate what they have?
Would they make the right decision if I weren’t watching?
Would they come to me for advice before their friends or the Internet?
This is the Board Meeting strategy that consistently reports incredible results. In fact, many parents often find themselves reconnecting with their children, having fun, and finding the joy in parenting again by taking a step back and asking these important questions. By following the easy steps that Jim Sheils outlines in his book, a parenting revolution is produced; A quality time revolution at that.
When enacting family board meetings with your children, be one-on-one with your child, do away with the electronics, and find a fun activity of your child’s choosing, following up with a time of self-reflection. This is the perfect combo that leads to success. Like every successful practice, the family board meeting concept won’t come naturally. You must be committed to see a great outcome.
Start with scheduling first. Find time for you and your children throughout your busy schedules to spend quality time together. Just remember, if you aren’t scheduling them, they most likely won’t ever happen. This is the first, most effective step to success.
Repetition is the next step. The power of 90 days is one of the key principles Jim Sheils mentions in his strategy. 90 days is a proven interval that is short enough to keep your attention focused on an individual goal.
Next is anticipation. Sheils states that anticipating an event is half of the fun. Creating that anticipation that kids may feel on Christmas eve, is exactly what you are looking for. It will keep them engaged and excited for what is to come.
The next step is vital: Reflection. It is just as powerful as having something to look forward to. Reflecting on your time helps make lessons stick and keeps memories intact. The 90 days is the perfect amount of time for powerful self-reflection.
Next is magnification. This involves seeing the intricacies of your relationship with your children. Increasing the focus of quality time proves to your child that they are your top priority.
Finally, simplicity. This is one of the most magical aspects of the family board meeting. It’s so easy! They are calm, easy, and simple. Don’t let them overwhelm you, they are meant to be a relaxing and fun way to reconnect with your children.
As you enact the family board meeting concept, don’t forget to be completely present. Drop your guard with your children and be vulnerable. Don’t try and cram too much into one meeting either, this could overwhelm you and your children, ultimately leading to an unsuccessful meeting. Finally, don’t hold back during your time! You’ll end up regretting what you did not say to your child and obsessing over that. Remember, that being vulnerable is the best way to find success in reconnecting with your children.
Check out Jim Sheils book, The Family Board Meeting, for more direction on how to start with your family and for ideas to make your meetings a fun, fulfilling time with your kids. While it may be a foreign concept, family board meetings might just be the answer to enriching your relationships and reconnecting with your children during these hard times.