The Family Annual Review

We LOVE the Family Annual Review. It helps everyone easily prioritize, give and get feedback positively, and voluntarily address family issues. Make it a fun family meeting...over dessert!

Read on for the "How To's" or go right to the download.


The Inspiration

We cooked up best practices from the work place and from parenting experts. A dab of Appreciative Inquiry principles focus us on what people do well. Add classic change management concepts:  identify practices to continue, to stop, and to change. Sweeten it up with family-friendly goodies to help parents listen while kids talk…so that kids might listen when parents talk!

Step I:  Clarify the Ground Rules

Download Home Is Fun’s Annual Review. It’ll make your time easy, fun, and effective.

Decide whether to conduct your reviews one-on-one or in a family gathering. We have done both. When we introduced the Review four years ago, we did it as a family. The younger siblings watched the parents listen, take notes, and acknowledge the helpfulness of our eldest son’s feedback. We had planned on hearing from the older two, but out six year old piped up, “Can I say something too?” Now, the kids sometimes express their feedback one-on-one. Confirmation in the group setting makes it official. Read up on how the Annual Family Review worked for us.

There is only one (1) feedback per topic. One observation is valuable. Additional ones tend to be a burden. 

Feedback is to be accepted, not argued. That’s hard. Clarification might be required. “Can you give me an example?” Resist the temptation to discuss the feedback; it can sound like arguing. “I don’t do that! It’s because you…” I just fell into the trap again this year!

Remind the kids to listen to each other and not intervene.

Decide whether one or both parents will be involved. Chez nous, my husband listens.

Step II: All Children Review the Parent(s) or Adult

Each child relates - first one thing the parent does well and the kid wants him to continue doing
- then one thing the parent should change.
These are the basics. Some years we added one thing to stop, or one new thing to add. Invariably we return to the basics.

Step III:  The Adult Reviews Each Child

We communicate
- first one thing the child does well and that we want her to continue doing
- then one thing the child should change. This becomes her “job for the year.

Step IV:  Celebrate Your Success!

It’s an insightful process. The kids demonstrate wisdom, patience, and perspective. We toast with children’s champagne.

Write down the feedback. Download our chart to make it easy. We post it from time to time (in the Frame of Fame) and encourage each other to do our respective “job for the year.”  "Mom, you're better about letting us play computer games.  Good job." LOL!

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Did you find this article helpful/interesting?
4 vote(s)

1. On Monday, January 26 2009, 23:30 by Denise

A friend wrote: "Annual Review is a great idea. Too bad I don't have the time (yet) to use it.3

The Annual Review can be done over dinner. It's just a question of deciding to make that your table conversation...instead of "I said, PLEASE get those elbows off the fact I said it FIVE times!"

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