Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Family Meeting #1 (2.3.2013)

if that duct taping doesn't work...
After reading Vicki Hoefle's book Duct Tape Parenting I have been moved to try many of her suggestions in my own life (parenting and otherwise).  One thing that she suggests is having a family meeting once a week.  Everyone in the family is invited, no one is required to come (though she goes on to say that kids' allowances will be distributed at the end of every family meeting and if you don't come you don't get your allowance, which seems a little less voluntary than at first blush, but whatevs).  The basic format that I have gleaned from the book is something like:
  • Call meeting to order
  • Appreciations
    • where you say at least one thing you appreciate about each family member present
    • The book actually suggests keeping an Appreciation Board somewhere in your house that you can write on throughout the week and then just read at the meeting
  • Contributions
    • where you pick which household duties you will be responsible for that week
    • This is basically "chores" but I like the positive name to it
  • Problem solving
    • She says no more than one a meeting
    • Meetings are supposed to be short (15-20 minutes MAX)(and if you don't get through all the stuff for the meeting at the end of the 20 minutes the meeting is over anyway and no allowance is doled out)(not really sure the point of this but she was pretty adamant about that)
  • Schedule activities
  • Allowance
    • She suggests giving kids one dollar for every year old they are (5 year olds get $5)
    • Allowance stops at age 14 when kids are old enough to get some kind of a part-time job
    • Some of the parents in my group thought this was too much $, but the money is supposed to be used for many things
      • Any birthday presents kids need to buy for their friends
      • Any time you're out and the kid says "moooooooooom can I have _____?" the answer is "did you bring your money?" and if they say "yes" then they can buy it themselves and if they say "no" then they can just suck it!
      • This is how you can teach them to manage their own finances from a young age (get a bank account, make a budget, etc etc)
  • Close meeting

I had been talking to Zack about this book as I got more and more into it, and I asked him if he would be amenable to the idea of having a weekly family meeting.  Zack, who is super laid back and willing to try most anything, said "sure." 

I realize that Madeleine is too young to participate in these meetings, but my hope is that Zack and I can learn a constructive approach to parenting (and dealing with each other in this new phase of our relationship) and have the shape of it all down by the time MadSass is old enough to join in; and that she will just grow up in this sort of a family environment from the start. 

These are the notes from our first family meeting and the road map meeting we had to schedule for right after the family meeting b/c that would take longer than 20 minutes:

Family Meeting #1 (2.3.2013)
  • We began a little after 4 and assigned jobs
    • Zack is the time keeper
    • Jennifer is the secretary
    • Madeleine is in charge of being awesome
  • Appreciations
    • Zack went first
    • Jennifer went second
    • Zack wanted to go again since it made more sense after he heard Jennifer do it (b/c jennifer read the book)
    • Madeleine observed
  • Contributions
    • Talked about how we could share responsibilities more but not make a chore wheel or anything
    • Zack said we should try to do everything as much as possible together just to get the flow of it
    • I said I really like when we map out what needs to be done and then each take half of the work and GO!
    • We're going to try to split the naps this week
      • Zack in the morning
      • Jennifer in the afternoon
    • I asked if Zack would sometimes take two naps so that I can get caught up on the job applications
    • Zack will put Madeleine to sleep one night a week (not more right away since she is still nursing) and share more in the night time parenting back to sleep to help avoid burnout for Jennifer
  • Shared the relationship strategies on page 92 of Duct Tape Parenting
  • Schedule activities
    • Need to plan out what we need in terms of meals this week, make a grocery list, go to store
    • Need to take a family trip to Burlington
      • Zack looked up the weather for the week, looks like Thursday is out best bet
    • Jennifer wants to go to the Bosom Buddies meeting --> will pair that with grocery shopping
    • The family meetings are supposed to be short so we only have 20 minutes, so to talk about road maps we will meet right after family meeting to talk about our roadmaps for ourselves, Madeleine, and the family as a whole
    • Want to find a time to work on the family mission statement
  • Close of family meeting #1

Road Map Meeting
  • Zack and I talked the night before about our individual and family goals so those were already written up, so this meeting was about discussing Madeleine's goals and how we are going to each work towards our roadmap destination

Jennifer's Road Map
  • Get in Shape
    • Stretch five times this week (Sun, Mon, Tues.)
    • Get on the treadmill twice
    • Read 20 pages in the baby belly book
    • Deal with sugar relationship (Pam)
  • Find a job
    • Submit 5 applications (Ashland)
  • Write in Blog
    • Family meeting (this is that)
    • One other
  • Spend Time w/ Friends
    • Bosom buddies
    • One playdate with either gretchen or niki
    • Schedule a girls night sometime in february (made a group on facebook and invited moms)
    • Schedule a night to go to burlington w/ zack
  • Read
    • Finish The Dog Star (Monday, Tuesday)
  • Physical/Mental Well being
    • Acupuncture
    • Chiropractic (made appointment for next week)
  • Solvency
    • Pay capital one bill
  • Spanish
    • Sub the spanish class
  • Travel
    • Go to Burlington

Madeleine's Road Map
  • Sleep through the night
    • Try to nurse every 3 hours, not every time she wakes up (unless she has a complete meltdown)
    • Zack sometimes put her back to sleep (zack got her back to sleep on Monday night)
    • Read chapter in the Sears sleep book
    • Commit to some rough nights/naps
  • Talk
    • Read to her
    • Talk to her
  • Walk
    • Lure her with electronics (Monday, Tuesday)
  • Feed Self
    • Relax about the mess
    • Eat at least one meal with her (Sunday night)

Home Road Map
  • Clean
    • Clean fridge (done)
  • Good Mom & Dad relationship
    • DTD
    • Not watch videos every night
  • Entertainment
    • Oscar movies: Beasts of the Southern Wild
    • Continue w/ West Wing
  • Healthy living
    • Meal plans/grocery store
  • Good parenting
    • More with Duct Tape Parenting

(zack's road map is written in his book so I can't copy it here)

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