Community Blog

Should You Have Rules for Family Meetings?

By Ketan Shah

Many family caregivers don't like the idea of creating rules for family meetings because that feels so restrictive. You might also worry that you're imposing restrictions on family members when that's not what you want to do. But rules can help you to keep your meetings on target and productive.

Some Family Members Might Want to Take Over

One really common situation in families is that there tend to be at least a few family members who want to take over group situations. If you know that you've got some family members with those tendencies, having some clearly-defined rules can help you to set up a system for your family meetings that controls that urge. Without rules for the meetings, you might find that these folks just naturally take over the whole thing.

Use a Written Agenda

Written agendas, whether this is something you print out and hand out to everyone or something you display for everyone to see, offer a bit of structure. It's more difficult for someone else to hijack the meeting when there's a clear agenda. When everyone can see what you want to talk about, they're going to want to get through that list.

Stick to the Topics You Want to Cover

You do need to be vigilant, though. Even with a written agenda, some family members might want to wander around on that list. If you're trying to talk about the benefits of hiring home care providers, for instance, you don't want to spend time talking about issues that aren't related. Bring the conversation back to the topic you really want to cover.

Let Everyone Know the Rules You Choose, if You Opt to Make Some

If you do decide to make some distinct rules, make sure that you communicate them. Some of the rules you might make could limit individuals to five minutes to talk about what they want to say about a topic, for instance. Another might be that no one talks over anyone else or that questions have to wait for you to have said what you need to say first. When your rules are clearly defined, everyone knows what you expect.

As you gain more experience with holding family meetings, you might find that your rules change and adapt to meet your needs and the needs of your other family members. Far from being constricting, rules can help you all to get the most out of these meetings.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring homecare in Los Gatos, CA, please contact the caring staff at Home Helpers today (408) 259-5930.