Family meetings have provided me with some great childhood memories. The most vivid was the family meeting we had before going to Hawaii. We first made a list of all the possible problems and then brainstormed for solutions. For example, whining or complaining during the 2-hour drive to the airport. That was an easy solution. We promised we wouldn’t. Of course, I forgot and started complaining about being thirsty. Mark poked me and said, “Shhh…remember our promise.” I was happy to stop complaining immediately.

We also promised we wouldn’t fight. (That would be a first.) Surprisingly, it was the best trip I have ever had with my brother. Our relationship was more peaceful and loving than it had ever been. We had only one problem on that trip. I don’t even remember what it was, but I do remember sitting on the sand in Waikiki Beach to solve whatever it was.

Another fond member was the way we solved the issue of chores. It seems like we had to come up with a new plan practically every week—from chore charts to chore wheels, to pulling chores out of a jar. My favorite was when we decided that Mom would put four chores on a white board and it was first come first serve to choose the two we wanted to do. We used to race home from school to get first choice. We even learned to bargain with and compromise with each other when the race was so close.

I’m looking forward to providing my children with the opportunity to learn the many skills taught by family meetings, and to many fond memories.

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