Elana Afrika-Bredenkamp shares tips on how to navigate four types of family meetings

Elana Afrika-Bredenkamp shares tips on how to navigate four types of family meetings

The words ‘family meeting’ may sound serious, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be feared.  

family meeting
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A meeting of any kind can help a group of people to communicate clearly and get onto the same page in understanding each other’s needs and wants – all to work towards a happy outcome for all.

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Here are the four types of family meetings you’ll need to have and the Workzone with Elana Afrika-Bredenkamp shares tips on how you can navigate them. Let’s start with the fun one:

1. Vacation Planning

As much as holidays are supposed to be all about the good times, it takes a lot of planning and effort to actually reach that destination.

A relaxed meeting at the dinner table can get the ball rolling and allow everyone to talk about what they envision as their perfect holiday. This will be different for each person, so in order to find a way to incorporate each person’s wishes, shift the planning from ‘where we want to go’ to ‘how we want to feel’.

There are two methods which will help the process move smoothly:

  • Let each person pick the one thing they’d really want to do and ensure that it fits in the itinerary.
  • Imagine the worst-case scenarios and set up systems to combat them.

2. Ageing Parents

By the time you’ve moved out and started your own family, you realise that your parents aren’t that young anymore either.

Before confronting them, set up a meeting with your siblings – be that a conference call, WhatsApp group or, if everyone is in the same city, at one of your homes.

The objective is to make sure that everyone is operating on the same info, allow concerns to be raised, and to plan for the future in a way that everyone is included and involved.

An online document which is accessible to all siblings is a good way to make sure that everyone has the necessary medical details and more, should a crisis arise.

3. Gifting Guidelines

As parents, you might have a very clear idea of how certain toys might affect your children’s upbringing.

While your parents or siblings may want to shower your little ones with love in the form of a variety of gifts, if you are finding that their ideas do not align with your parenting plans, it is best to address it.

This does not have to be a formal meeting and can be a discussion for any family get-together. You could say something like:

“As we near Luke’s birthday, we’ve been thinking of shifting to more experienced-based gifts and were wondering if you’d be interested in joining us. For example, a zoo membership as opposed to an animal toy, as it would be a great place for us all to go as a family.”

4. Safety Measures

All parents know that there can be dangers around any corner and that risks are literally everywhere!

But rather than dread the day an emergency were to occur, have biannual meetings with your spouse and children to run through what steps need to be taken in various scenarios.

The point is not to instill fear in your children, but rather to empower them to make smart decisions. Come up with a disaster plan together and even you will feel reassured.

Remember to include safety plans for emergencies both in and out of your home. Memorising certain phone numbers is a good start.

So there you have it! 

Not all family meetings need to be daunting. Instead, use them to help your family become stronger, happier, and more harmonious than ever.

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