Family Matters and Family Meetings

My family means a lot to me.  I have been married to my beautiful wife for nearly 19 years, and am blessed to have both 3 sons and a daughter.  They are intelligent, witty, funny, athletic, and creative.  I think they will all be incredible leaders one day.  Each one has a unique giftedness.

My oldest son Connor, 14 years old, has an amazing laser-focus intensity when he is working on something or learning something new.  Once when he was in 5th grade, playing his 2nd year of baseball, he started throwing a new pitch and the coach asked him where he learned it from.  His reply?  I watched a youtube video.  When he was 5 or 6 years old, he spent the entire Christmas day (not stopping until he finished) putting together a Millennium Falcon kit that was intended for ages 9+.  He is a smart and athletic guy.

My next oldest son Brandon, also quite smart and athletic, has an amazingly beautiful personality.  He has hardly ever met a stranger.  He’ll play hard in a sport with even older boys, then sit down and joyfully read a book with his 5-year old brother and 7-year old sister.

Caroline, our 7-year old?  I think I may need to buy a Michael’s store to keep up with the amount of paper and supplies she uses to create the amazingly wonderful ideas she has in her head.  She is always creating, playing make-believe, or dancing.  And I am very thankful to be the delight of her heart.  That’s the place every father should have in a little girl’s heart.

Graham, our 5-year old son is the life of the party.  Though he hates it every time someone says “he’s so cute!”… he really is that cute.  He has watched his brothers play sports now since he was born, and knows more about the different facets of sports than many adults.  He was walking around the house the other day asking Carol’s iPhone about different sports scores.  Siri would respond with a very descriptive phrase “Tennessee pummeled…” and he would just get so tickled.  He also is the snuggliest of the bunch.  He loves getting real close to me or his mom and just sit and rest.

We are a busy family, with 4 kids in school, sports, dance, and church life.  Carol and I have been desiring to have regular weekly family meetings as an opportunity to slow down… to “rest” and bring us closer together for a brief moment during the week.  I came across a couple of resources recently on the art of manliness website with great info on how to conduct a family meeting and developing a family mission statement.  So, last night we had our first real family meeting.  Here are the highlights:

– Lots of fidgeting so Carol got them all squish-balls.

– I sent one to his room because of a negative attitude.  He came back ready.

– I wanted to end it halfway through because everyone seemed like they wouldn’t stay engaged (never mind that they’ll play video games for hours if we let them).


– I taught them a couple of really neat ideas around developing a family mission statement.

– All 6 of us had an opportunity to share ideas, questions, and even difficulties in their lives.



So, it was not perfect, by any stretch.  But we did it.  And for that, I’m grateful.  We’ll do it imperfectly again next week, but we’ll keep pressing on and doing it.  Why?