How to Start Morning Meetings at Home
Morning meetings at home may seem like a total waste of time, but I can tell you they are important for your family…and critical to your sanity.
Any time you embark on a new routine whether for summer break, holidays, or just a new season in your family, you need to make sure that everyone is on the same page! Kids love to know what is going to happening each day and they thrive in a routine. So incorporating morning meetings at home will be the perfect way to do just that.
What is a Morning Meeting?
A morning meeting is simply a quick time when everyone in the family (that will be home) gets together and talks about the events that will be happening that day.
Many young children and early elementary kids are used to doing this at school already. (But, be prepared to hear that your morning meetings at home aren’t like the one your child does at school.)
If your child does want to share what he does at school in morning meeting, it’s the perfect time to get some ideas to include in yours!! It will also help him feel empowered to be the one in charge and teaching everyone else something.
How to Conduct Morning Meetings at Home
1. Decide Where to Meet
You can meet wherever it’s convenient for you and your kids. The kitchen table or the couch are places that allow for everyone to see one another easily without anyone “getting in the way” of anyone else. I’ve always enjoyed sitting in a circle on the floor because this keeps everyone close together and focused on each other.
While you want to try to meet in the same place each day, the location is completely up to you and your kiddos. The key is to find a place that accommodates everyone comfortably and requires everyone to look at one another.
2. Discuss the Expectations for Morning Meetings at Home
There are always rules that accompany meetings, and as adults, many of the rules are implied. However, we need to explicitly teach our kids the rules so they can comply.
In fact, a great way to start your first morning meeting at home would be to create your family rules. Once you’ve established the rules, you want to make sure that you set appropriate expectations for behavior during the meeting.
Your kids need to understand that this is a time for everyone to be honest and talk about the day’s plan. It’s a time to show respect and be active listeners; it’s not a time to point fingers at someone or belittle anyone.
3. Set the Appropriate Tone
Since you will be the one facilitating morning meetings at home, you want to make sure that you set the appropriate tone. If you begin the meeting with a smile and an attitude of gratitude, your kids will notice. On the other hand, if you begin the meeting with impatience and irritation in your voice, your kids will catch on to that, too.
You can start by letting your kids know how much you love them and how glad you are that you get to spend extra time together. You could also start with prayer to get everyone in the right frame of mind.
4. Keep the Information Short and Sweet
It’s important that you remember to keep the content in your morning meeting kid friendly. If you have toddlers or young preschoolers, expect this to last for about 5 minutes max! If you have older kids, they can sit for up to 15 minutes without getting bored.
Just remember that the whole point of this meeting is to give everyone an idea of what to expect for the day, to keep everyone informed, and to help everyone start the day with a right attitude.
Ideas for Morning Meetings at Home
You know your kids and family best, but there are lots of things you could include in your morning meeting. These are excellent for kids from preschool on up!
- the daily schedule (appointments, expectations, chores, etc.)
- lunch options (provide ONLY 2 choices)
- mental health check-in (this is foundational to diverting unwanted behavior)
- personal compliments for each child (behavior/choices)
- weather forecast (potential outside time)
- input from kids (ideas for tweaks that they would like to see)
Remember, this is really about setting the tone for the day and giving everyone an idea of how the day is going to flow.
You don’t need to include all of these ideas into every meeting. However, I would DEFINITELY include mental health/emotions check-in, personal compliments, and input from kids. These will put your kids in a much better frame of mind because
- You will be giving them an opportunity to share how they feel
- You are praising them for appropriate behaviors that you want them to repeat.
- You are giving them the opportunity to have a voice and be an integral and valued part of the family group.
While morning meetings at home will look different in every family, they are a great way for families to connect in an environment that welcomes conversations and discussion. Implementing morning meetings at home will be a fun way to keep the lines of communication open with your kids.