FORUM IN FAMILY
What is Forum in family?
Forum in family is a platform for family members (parents, children, and possibly grandparents) to openly discuss and manage personal issues within a confidential environment, through a structured process. Forum provides a safe space for family members to work through their own issues, develop and practice empathy and understanding towards others, refine conflict management skills, improve their interpersonal skills and much more.
Why do we use Forum in family?
Today, families experience increasing disintegration, with the loss of previous processes which once provided a disciplined structure for conversation and the distraction of technology. In addition, millennial children may experience a feeling of being lost as they choose to live a different lifestyle to that of their parents. Therefore, we need to create a new platform for a family gathering ritual which will allow the family to communicate and connect with one another, and encourage the following principles:
Deep and meaningful conversation on a regular basis among family members.
Tools for dealing with life’s difficulties.
Influencing through authenticity rather than power.
A space where family members feel heard and valued.
Managing anger, dealing with conflicts, and resolving issues among the family.
Experiencing the simplicity of self-problem solving, the importance of giving authentic feedback, and the value of repercussion-free conversation.
The awareness that the family will always be there for you in moments of difficulty.
A place to share and have fun learning about each other’s lives.
What is the Forum in family process?
The Forum process takes family members through several structured stages during each meeting and retreat, bound together by the highest level of confidentiality, allowing participants to share their issues and concerns in a safe space to the family. Participants learn how to identify core issues and their underlying cause, openly express what concerns them around this issue, provide one-on-one coaching to other family members (which they will be trained to provide), and practice accountability through creating detailed action plans with the knowledge of being followed up on.
What makes Forum in family successful?
Forum is a successful process when it receives support from both parents, when meetings are run according to the correct procedure as facilitated by a trained moderator, i.e. one of the parents to start with, when meetings are regular, and with the appropriate materials and facilitation tools, including a handout in the hands of each member of the family.
How to implement Forum in family?
We provide a half-day workshop for families within the same Chapter to introduce the idea of Forum in Family, emphasizing its importance through both theory and experiential learning.
Attention will be given to the parents who will act as moderators in this framework, in order to deepen their understanding of the meeting structure. Once your Forum is established, deeper learning and knowledge building can occur on your annual family retreat, where families can spend time strengthening their connection and taking time to be together out of the mayhem of daily life. During these retreats the family focuses on team building, giving and receiving feedback, aligning on family vision and goals for the year, and building a responsibility breakdown plan.
"After the Forum meeting, I know my family is always here to support me without judging me. It created an opening and made us feel more comfortable with one another. I know that they hear me." - Participant in a facilitated Family Forum session.