I grew up in a family of ten children. We were all involved in different activities and had different schedules. Now that I have a family of my own I realize how difficult it must have been for my parents to keep track of everyone’s weekly activities. A great way to keep everybody on the same page is family councils. My parents discovered family councils when I was in high school and it made a huge different in the function of our family.
M. Russell Ballard has said, “In a family council we talk about the needs of the family and the needs of individual members of the family. It is a time to solve problems, make family decisions, plan day-to-day and long-range family activities and goals. It is a time to share one another’s burdens and joys and counsel together, to keep each family member on the right track…” Family councils are a great way to involve children in family decisions as well. It almost seems like a natural response for children to gripe a little bit when asked to do chores. During councils you can have your children help decide what needs to get done which may help them feel more enthusiastic about chores and such.
Family councils can be very helpful for stepfamilies. There are many families working hard to blend together. My family was a blend of 7 of my dad’s children and 3 of my step mom’s daughters. In family councils we were able to bring up thoughts and concerns about our new family. We could brainstorm ideas that would make everyone more comfortable. Family councils really helped bring us together.
My husband and I love to use a template for our family councils. A great example of a family council agenda can be found here.