The Family Summit

Now is a great time to call a family summit meeting. Leaders of world powers gather around a summit table and discuss their mutual issues. Basketball officials call time out and huddle around the scorekeeper’s table to iron out a questionable infraction. Executives of huge corporations sit around a conference table to hammer out solutions and strategies. We’re not suggesting that these sessions always produce positive results or the ideal resolution. But a meeting of the minds is preferable to a showdown at high noon.

Send a memo

If it is true that the family is the most basic and vital social influence in our lives, then the family deserves to have its own summit. So, dad and mom, plan a family summit . Send out a call, note, email or text message. Schedule the get-together at a time that is convenient for everyone. (That may require a special summit all its own.)

The Summit Agenda

Think of all the good things a family summit would do for you and your teenager. It would allow you to reacquaint with one another. Imagine being able to put names with those faces that you pass in the kitchen every morning.

A family summit would provide a way to avoid scheduling conflicts. Why run the risk of committing the family car to the senior prom and an engine overhaul on the same day! What a great opportunity to pull out the social calendars and do some cross-checking.

A family summit would allow every member to catch up on one another’s lives. “What? I have a new baby sister!” “You were expelled from school—three weeks ago?”  “You have a new job? At a deli? Your deli? You bought a delicatessen!”

Three Powerful Words

A family summit would provide every member the chance to say “I love you” to those vaguely familiar but wonderful people sitting with you around the table. Yep, we know, it’s kind of cheesy … or corny … or cheese-corny. But can you think of a phrase in any language that packs a greater, more profound wallop?

We admit that upon reflecting on those years when our kids were home, we both wish they would have said, “I love you” more often. It’s true.

Launch Your Own Campaign

Go ahead, schedule a family summit. Remember, however, that a summit is a meeting of the minds—not a managing of the minds. Take turns suggesting topics. You’ll want to pass the gavel of leadership. And most importantly, you’ll want to listen as other family members share their thoughts and concerns. If any part of it proves to be a positive experience, suggest that you hold a family summit on a monthly basis. Call your own family caucus. Make family the change you can believe in.

By dads2dads