I have had several people inquire about our family meetings. We hold three types of meetings here. It really helps to keep everyone up to date, it helps teaching the children how to make important decisions and everyone feels like they have a say in how we run the household. We have been doing these meetings for several years, I feel they are a very important part of running any family, especially a large one.
Impromptu Meetings: These are a hey, everyone gather round, type of meeting. We may call one before we head out for the day, or maybe at dinner to discuss things. They are informal, and usually pretty short.
Family Meetings: These are scheduled twice a month, on the 2nd and 4th Sundays, or the following Monday evening. We start with a prayer, and Mom usually addresses things first. I usually go over new rules, changes in chore schedule, etc. The management part of the home. Then each child has the opportunity to bring up and discuss anything they feel is important to them. Dad ends the meeting with his final words and thoughts and wraps it up with a prayer. We are very open about things in our meetings about such as finances, jobs, and other major decisions. Even with our recent move, the children were consulted and we openly discussed things. We usually don't hold back too much, as this is their life as well. We have the final say, but they are very involved in the decision process.
Personal Meetings: We hold these as needed. Dad and I each do one on ones, and we do them differently. Dad usually only has meetings with the older boys, and he runs them very similar to the Personal Priesthood Interviews the LDS church has with its male members. I talk with each child about every 6 weeks or so, if we haven't needed to sooner. . I will first ask them to tell me how I can improve as a mother. At first I would get a lot of "oh, nothing mom" but they are more open with me now. Its a humbling reminder of my faults, and the most common criticism is my yelling. I then tell them what I need them to improve upon. I ask them where they are at with their lessons. We discuss them and see what is working and what isn't and any changes they want to make. They choose their lesson plans and agree to follow through and complete them. If they do not, I will choose it for them. I do have a parameter the have to fulfill some portion of what I feel is necessary, but they have done quite well, and I have not needed to alter their decisions. We then discuss the family as a whole and address any issues they are having. If need be, it will be brought up in the next family meeting.
These meetings strengthen our bond as parent/child and it also helps strengthen the family. If you hold family meetings in your home, I would love to hear how you organize them!