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Are weekly family meetings too formal?

Published:Tuesday | December 11, 2012 | 12:00 AM

We have decided to have weekly family meetings to discuss activities and teach our children to solve problems through discussions. Is this too formal?

Family meetings are a great way to strengthen communication in homes. Meetings should be as relaxed as possible and should not be very long. Simply list a few things that need to be discussed. Ensure that you also plan fun activities for the family.

I have been invited to go to a school for a family counselling meeting. Is this the best place for such a meeting?

The school counsellor may only have that particular place to conduct the counselling session for the family. If a church is close by, or another appropriate building, you can share with the school counsellor that you may prefer another place. After a discussion on this, you can come to a mutual understanding.

How can we make Jamaican teachers understand that divorce is not a sin? I am divorced and my son is in a school where the teachers talk daily about divorce being a sin. I have had enough and refuse to let my son be abused like this.

I think most Jamaican teachers are much more sensitive than the ones at the school your child attends. A parent's choice of divorce should not affect how a child is treated at school. Please share with the principal and school counsellor your concerns about the issue that is causing your son to feel sad.

Orlean Brown-Earle, PhD, is a child psychologist and family therapist. Dr Brown-Earle works with children with learning and behaviour problems throughout the island and in the Caribbean. Email questions to or send to Ask the Doc, c/o The Gleaner Company, 7 North Street, Kingston. Responses to concerns are to be considered as general as cases shared with psychologists privately would be queried more deeply. Pray always!