Sunday, April 04, 2010

PD Tool Card: Family Meeting, uh, Conference Update

I know you've been hanging on the edge of your computer screens to find out if Ryan would come to our next Family Meeting. Well, it was this morning, and I'm happy to announce that every member of our family was in attendance! :o)

So it came up last week that Ryan apparently had an issue with the word 'Meeting,' or so he told Brendan. I'm hoping Brendan will share a bit more about what they actually talked about in the comments. I suspect that Ryan needed a way to have this Family Meeting idea be kind of his idea, since he's a fan of his own ideas first (as you are no doubt aware). So he came up with this objection.

Brendan and I both told him that he's welcome to suggest a name change at the next Family Meeting, but we wouldn't be changing the name unless he came and we all took a vote on it. Well, that did it. :o)

Our meeting agenda was this:

  • Compliments
  • Calendar
  • Meeting Name Change
  • Choose the King or Queen for next week
  • Allowance/Easter Egg Hunt

Brendan was King of the meeting and called us to order by the Ringing of the Bell (bell, bell, bell, bell . . . sorry, couldn't resist!). An enthusiastic round of compliments ensued.

People were thanked left and right for their contributions to the family this week. I was thanked for making dinner and for the Easter baskets. Brendan was complimented for mowing the lawn and pressure washing the sidewalk. Ryan was thanked for being an awesome Waiter Peopleguy and for helping with cleaning and dinner the other night. Morgan was complimented for her cleaning efforts this week (which are still, uh, not great, but she did make slightly more of an effort and a little noticing and encouragement will go far toward our goal of getting her to pick her toys up). Sean was complimented for having blond hair and for being so cute.

Everyone participated, even Ryan, who almost couldn't stop complimenting people and even thanked Brendan for fixing one of his toys that got broken at Christmas. You know, when Brendan fixed it ON Christmas . . . the Christmas two years ago that we spent in Chicago. Some pent up thanking in that boy, I guess. It's a lovely side of him to see (and one we don't get to see very often!).

Then we reviewed our calendar and talked about changing what we call these here meetings. Ryan's suggestion was Family Conference. Brendan brought up a suggestion made by a bloggy friend: Family Summit. We talked about how summits were big meetings between leaders of countries, and Ryan really warmed to that idea. He said he liked to think of each of us as big important countries of our own (if he'd known what the word sovereign meant, he'd have used it, I think).

We took a vote: Family Meeting, Family Conference, or Family Summit. I voted for Summit, and Brendan, Morgan, and Ryan voted for Conference. Sean abstained, pleading toddlerhood and PEZ. Ryan told us, "Yeah. I like Family Summit, but Family Conference was my idea, and who doesn't like their own ideas best and wouldn't vote for their own best ideas?" And that statement right there, my Dear Readers, pretty much sums up this child.

So henceforth forevermore world-without-end-amen, we will be holding weekly Family Conferences. Unless we change our minds and have another vote.

Then we chose our King for the next meeting conference, and you guessed it--it's Ryan! He actually jumped up and down like crazy. Ah, the thrill of Power. Then, Easter Eggs!

Next week's meeting conference should be interesting. Now that Ryan is going to be participating (I hope, you never know!), we'll probably going to need some kind of Talking Stick or something to hold so that everyone gets a fair turn to talk. And we'll probably have to vote on it, to decide whether to call it the Talking Stick or Talking Staff of Ra, or Talking Pole.

That's okay. :o)


brendan said...

OK, so here's how it went down, about a week ago, as Ryan & I were getting ready to go somewhere by ourselves (can't remember where -- let's just say the store):

B: "So why don't you want to go to our Family Meetings, Ryan?"

R: "Meetings are just a waste of time. We should just write a Constitution and everyone has to follow it."

B: "Well, when they wrote the Constitution, they still had a bunch of meetings to figure out what to put in it. They had a LOT of meetings to decide what the Constitution should say. Wouldn't you want to go to one of *those* meetings?"

R: "No."

B: (Very surprised here) "Why not?"

R: "I already told you. Meetings are a huge waste of time."

At this point I realized that it's *totally* possible that I had muttered something after work one day about meetings being a waste of time. Or it's possible Jenn might have said this. Neither of us have been a huge fan of meetings in our careers. Yeah. Probably me.

B: "Well, OK. Some meetings are a waste of time, that's true. But our family meetings aren't. How about this: Would you be interested in going to a Family Conference instead?"

R: "What's a conference?"

B: (Being VERY careful not to use the word "meeting" in my definition): "Conferences are when a group of people get together to discuss something, or learn about something. Like someday I might go to a computer programmer peopleguy conference with other computer programmers from all around."

R: (Total change in his tone): "Oh! Well sure! I'll go to ALL of the Family Conferences!"

B: "Well, OK then!"

So it's yet another lesson in the never-ending Watch-What-You-Say-Around-Ryan-Even-If-It's-Under-Your-Breath-Or-Even-If-He's-In-The-Next-Room-Because-He-Hears-EVERYTHING series.

Mary Willis said...

Sorry, Jenn, rapid comment, not based on having read every word of blogs.

IMO, Ryan (or anybody) does not get to add any suggestions to the meeting time, tools, method, whatever, if he is not at the meeting (italics there).

That is only fair: " I hear that you have an idea, and it sounds like it would be a fun one, but, unfortunately, people who are not at the beginning of the meeting don't get to make suggestions. Sorry.

You can try again next time.

(Draw clear boundary in the sand, here.)

Yes, he is a power child, and he does not need to have any power in a meeting he boycotts, just like senators cannot criticize bills that they don't show up and vote yea or ney on.

Good luck!