It’s okay to admit it. You are skeptical of the whole “family meeting” concept. Yet you have a lurking feeling it could change your life for the better; and, Acton families make a promise to write one as part of being in the learning community. So what is holding you back?
Is the Lencioni Family Plan Badge we have for you a bit daunting? Does it feel too time-consuming? Do you resist integrating “business” into your spontaneous, fun-loving family living? Is there a way to hack this? A short cut to test it out?
For those of you dragging your heels a bit with the charge to write a family plan, I’ve created a pain-free way for you to test these waters.
- Plan a time next week for your family to have dinner together at home. This is non-negotiable. (You can pick up dinner or cook…do not stress about those details.)
- Set the table in a way that is outside of your normal routine. (Ideas: cut a sprig from the yard and put in a jar. Or, light a candle. Or, toss some old family photos on the table. Or, put on some favorite music. Do something a little surprising for your family. What would you do if a special guest was coming by on short notice? Do that. Think of your child as this special guest.)
- Have a piece of paper and pencil ready for each person. After enjoying food and easy conversation, ask your family members to write down (or draw depending on age and skill) two things they wish their family would do together this year; and one thing they wish to learn to do for themselves. Share these aloud or just collect them and ponder. Whatever feels right in the moment. Then do the dishes together or take out the trash. Go on with your evening. You are done.
See what happens in the days that follow. Can you forget what your children wrote down? What will you do with your own thoughts and hopes?
This isn’t a matter of taking up time or adding something to your list of things to do. It is a matter of intentionality. The Eagles work hard to practice intentionality every day. Trying some ourselves is the least we can do.
You may find by testing the waters that you are inspired to dive in with arms wide open. When you are ready, let me know. I will send you a plan to follow that will make those pieces of paper you collected become experiences you will soon hold as cherished memories. You won’t know until you try.