Annette Nay, PhD

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Family Council
Annette Nay, Ph.D.
Copyright 1997

Parents usually initiate the idea of the family council.

Each council should start and end with prayer.

Council should be scheduled:

  • regularly at a convenient time for every member
  • as the need arises
  • to plan family activities
  • to bear one another's burdens and joys
  • to council with one another to keep family members on the straight and narrow.

Start with family members who are willing to attend.

The family council should include all who live in that household.

Each member should possess these characteristics before attending family council:

  • a feeling of cooperation to reach a mutual decision
  • courage to share one's honest point of view
  • willingness to listen openly to another member's honest comments
  • love for each other
  • listen for and act upon what the Holy Spirit has to say

Although each member of the family council has an equal voice in the business of the council, the decisions are not necessarily majority vote. Parents, after prayerful consideration, may exercise their duty as the head of the council and the family to make the decision and carry it out.

Each Family Council Needs a Chairperson and a Secretary

The Chairperson:

  • publishes an agenda before the meeting
  • oversees the council meeting
  • keeps the discussion on tract
  • outlines the problem
  • does not offer solutions but asks for suggestions to solve the problem instead
  • sees each member is heard

The Secretary takes notes during the meeting of:

  • council discussion and its decisions
  • reads back the notes at the next meeting

Family councils should:

  • allow children to be heard but not be disrespectful to their parents or each other
  • be held in a calm setting where discussion can take place

General Family Council Agenda

  • Compliments: Any member may thank another or make positive note of:
    • good deeds
    • accomplishments
    • personal strengths
    • improvements
  • Minutes
    • These are the notes from the last meeting.
  • Old Business
    • This is unfinished business from previous meetings due to fact finding or unresolved differences of the council.
    • When decisions are not unanimous the issue is tabled for further study and prayer by each member of the council.
  • Finances
    • Family budget is discussed.
    • Allowances may be dispersed at this time.
  • New Business
    • New topics, complaints, and/or problems are placed on a previously posted agenda and discussed at this time.
  • Treat
    • The meeting adjourns and the family plays a game, outing, or dessert. This provides family togetherness and makes positive memories.

The New Business Agenda

  • The agenda is posted in a well trafficked area such as the refrigerator for all to see and to add topics for discussion for the next family council. These items may include:
    • complaints, and/or problems
    • family trips or vacations
    • large family expenditures
    • family goals

Benefits of Holding a Family Council

  • family cooperation and unity
  • personal responsibility
  • closer ties with the Holy Ghost
  • a knowledge that God exists and loves each of us
  • courage and self-esteem develops a greater
  • love for each member of the council
  • better communication and social skills
  • solutions to problems
  • better understanding of attitudes, values, and God's commandments
  • sharing and democratic principles
  • family rules and procedures are more likely to be followed by the family if each member has had the opportunity to be heard, understand why decisions were made, and sustain them

References

Ballard, M. Russell (1997). Counseling with Our Councils. Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Company.

Popkin, Michael H. (1990). Active Parenting of Teens - Parent Guide. Atlanta, Georgia: Active Parenting Inc.


 


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