Try a family meeting to reduce conflict and create better relationships
Are you tired of arguing over how the chores get done? Or even what to eat for dinner? Sometimes parents want to make decisions in an inclusive way, but don’t know another way besides top-down decisions. Holding a regular family meeting using practices from sociocracy like consent decision-making can help.
This page has books, articles, and videos on using sociocracy with children to help improve relatinoships in families.
“My kiddo feels so empowered during family meetings now and it takes so much stress out of chores and other day-to-day activities. I’d recommend Let’s Decide Together to anyone working with kids.”Erik Gillespie
Two tools from sociocracy you can start using today
Taking turns in a circle to speak ensures that everyone’s voices are heard. Try it out today at a family meeting with a question such as “How do you want to get the chores done in our family?”
Consent decision-making is a process to include everyone in decisions so that everyone can live with the outcome. Try consent decisions with household projects, what to eat for dinner, or questions such as where to go on a field trip.
Workbook for using with ages 5-12
Let’s Decide Together! By Hope Wilder
Let’s Decide Together is an accessible workbook for anyone interested in practicing sociocracy with children ages 5-12. Adults can use it to make more values-aligned, egalitarian, and inclusive decisions together with children in the home, at school, clubs, neighborhood groups, or in any group where adults and children are empowered to decide together.
$20 paperback, $8 ebook
Download our free booklet
“Sociocracy with Kids”
What are the first, easiest steps to improve making decisions with children? This booklet will introduce you to:
- What to decide about
- Consent decision-making with kids
- Tips for easy and fun meetings with kids
Sign up to our mailing list and download this free booklet!
In addition, another booklet for adults called Sociocracy – a brief introduction is available as a free download for those who are signed up for our mailing list.
Articles on sociocracy in family meetings
Family meetings are a wonderful and easy way of giving (your) children a voice. In family meetings (just like any other time almost), they can learn what it means to be heard and taken seriously. See this guest post on coming to a decision about how to manage screen time in a family.
After a teenager refused to eat dinner together, a mother led her family through the sociocractic decision-making process to find out what was important to everyone, and to come to consent.
Read-aloud books for teaching concepts in sociocracy
This book about a Native American boy who confronts bullying can be used to teach talking in rounds, while acknowledging the indigenous roots of using a talking stick. Ages 8-12.
Two siblings argue, and their father teaches them about using a talking stick to resolve disagreements. Used for teaching rounds to younger children. Ages 5-8.
Thanks for the feedback…I think…
A boy struggles to accept compliments and criticism. This book can be used to teach feedback and practice feedback rounds. Ages 5-10.
A package is delivered. What will we do with the contents without fighting?
This picture book in 3 languages (Dutch, English, German) takes you on a journey to discover how to decide with consent: every voice is heard and no one has any objections.
This manual for teachers and parents provides systems to stay open-hearted with children. The principles of Nonviolent Communication inform the three systems. There are plenty of examples of different kinds of discord and ways to guide young children through them.
Games for practicing consent decision-making (5-12)
Shadows in the Forest
This is an asymmetrical game where one person is a forager trying to capture shadowlings that are under the control of everyone else. The group must make decisions about where to hide without the forager finding out. Played in the dark! Ages 8 & up.
Play as detective chickens trying to uncover clues about which fox stole the cake before they get away. Ages 5-8..
Games for practicing consent decision-making (13-18)
Quandary online game
In Quandary, you represent a council on a faraway planet. You must make decisions that affect a whole village, taking in facts and opinions from the villagers. Doesn’t involve consent decision-making, but is good practice for listening to multiple perspectives and coming up with a proposal.
House of Danger
A cooperative choose-your-own-adventure story game. Use consent decision making at key points to see the story evolve.
War with the Evil Power Master
A cooperative choose-your-own-adventure story game. Use consent decision-making at key points to see the story evolve.
A cooperative game where you race against the clock as a deadly disease sweeps the globe.