We hold family counsel every Sunday evening at 8:00 pm. We have an agenda (spiral notebook) that is left within easy access to everyone so they can write in items they feel need to be discussed. If it's not on the agenda, it doesn't get discussed. Sometimes there's a mad dash to the notebook at 7:59 to get 'important' items on the agenda (like - "Why does the oldest always get to sit in the front seat?" (and yes, all examples used here are straight from our agendas!)) We don't discount any matter, because what may seem trivial to us may be important top them (like: "We spend too much time as a family, we should eat dinner in our rooms while doing homework"). The entire family discusses these topics of importance (like: "our trampoline needs a new frame, who wants to volunteer to find out information about that?"). After all have their input a vote is taken, (like: "all who think a name should be randomly drawn from a hat every morning to walk the dog so one person doesn't feel picked on, raise their hand.") and usually we have a unanimous vote, if not, depending on time and patience, a majority vote wins.
We had some good ideas in our meeting last night - so I thought I would share...
1- (in case you don't already know, each child has a dinner night) The kids will get me their four recipes for a month's worth of dinners. We'll just continue to use that as a guide every month unless someone finds a new recipe they want to try. This way I'm not always pestering them for shopping lists!
3- Due to the mysterious disappearance of Bill's tools, we now have a check out system where everything in the tool room must be signed out and checked in.
4- And lastly- David has to have a job by the end of the week (there is no 'or' but I'm thinking volunteerism might be good for him:-)