This year, consider getting a notebook or journal to cover your family calendar, goals and conversations. Ours includes our family mission statement, New Year's resolutions and notes from family meetings.
Each year, I sit down with my family and we write down our New Year's resolutions. When they were younger, they drew pictures of their goals. Sometimes, the goal was to "not bother sister so much". It's truly amazing to look back and see what was important to them. It's a great learning lesson about how to plan better if you didn't accomplish your goal and how to create a plan to accomplish the next.
We also use this family notebook to cover family meetings. I find that family meetings are a great place to take a pause and to sit down and communicate. Kids learn about planning, problem solving and listening. I take notes in the family notebook on what issues we are having and who is committing to what. This comes in handy when we forget about changes in allowance or chores. While this may seem formal to you, it's actually a wonderful keepsake journaling the growth of our family.
I should put in virtually evey blog post that it never works out as smooth as it sounds on paper. Eyes may roll and complaints definitely happen. But we try to keep it fun and have the kids feel like they are a part in planning of our days and our life! We end almost every family meeting with each person in the "hot seat", where each of us will say a reason why we love that person. Please do share some of your family meeting tips.