Author Archives: fionagatt

Did it turn into a food fight? It’s alright, you just hadn’t read the manual yet!

Sound familiar?

Sound familiar?

For a lot of parents, when they first hear of the idea of family meetings it sounds like an extra chore. Perhaps a bit too formal. Or something that the other parent, or one child in particular, might not agree to. Then they find that when they hold an informal meeting in the kitchen over doing the dishes, things run a bit more smoothly that week. The calendar was set, and that nagging issue of the laundry going into the wrong baskets was resolved. What if regular planned family meetings could actually be productive?

Well, they can! What’s more, I bring you good news. Katherine Gordy Levine’s guide, ‘How To Hold Successful Family Meetings’ will be available on Amazon Kindle for free for 5 days.


Still not convinced that your family could benefit? Think again. Here’s a fantastic recommendation for this eBook:

As a licensed clinical social worker and family therapist, I have the distinct pleasure of helping family members communicate better and connect with one another. Helping parents step into their role as “leader” in the family is often part of the process. For a parent, knowing how to effectively be in charge can be at the top of the list of parental challenges. And as many parents know, when they are not effective, general chaos can ensue, children run the ship, and parents get run ragged. After reading Katherine Gordy Levine’s How to Hold Successful Family Meetings, I was both inspired and encouraged to introduce my families to this simple and thorough approach to family communication. The book offers explanations for communication breakdowns in families, solutions for repairing the breakdowns, and tips for strengthening bonds between family members. It does more than that, though. It reminds parents to be kind to themselves! They are already “good-enough parents”.

It is true that parents today sometimes get caught in a power struggle with their children. The firm authoritative voice of parents past is often replaced by `parents as friends’ or parents saying “I am just not there enough, and I feel guilty, so I give in”. Something as simple as regular communication can calm the struggle and restore the parent’s natural abilities to guide their children. Holding scheduled and consistent family meetings in which all family members have an opportunity to talk about concerns, goals, hopes, weekly accomplishments, house duties, and agenda-items, such as “family fun events”, allows family members to listen to each other better, be more direct with each other, and have fun together once family business is done.

As stated in the book, the family meetings are designed in the same manner as a business meeting is run, a “family business” meeting. Everyone is allowed the same amount of time to speak, there is an agenda, meeting minutes are kept, there are rules, such as Respect Self and Others, and there are consequences when the rules are broken. The book also addresses potential concerns a parent may have about their ability to hold such meetings and their confidence about whether their child/ren can successfully participate. Step-by-step direction, encouragement, and understanding are offered throughout the book. Parents are even given suggestions for responding to non-participation, non-compliance, and “other strategies for success”. Families need guidance and in our new world of gadgets and technology, “family time around the table” has all but faded into the past. This book offers a solution and walks the parent gently through the process. I will definitely be recommending this book to my families.

Colleen Marie Cavanagh, MS, LCSW from

Free eBook … about teenagers who lie

Teens lie, a fact that can easily escape a good parent living with a good kid. Think for a minute about yourself as a teenager. You lied, often by omission, or with a carefully woven half-truth. You also probably told more than one or two whoppers.

Think of yourself today. White lies are often considered not just acceptable, but necessary to avoid hurting others. When kids lie they are doing what almost everyone else does, but when it comes to important relationships, even the white lies, are destructive.

Accepting lying as something teens do, just as acne is something teens suffer from, will not get your child ahead in the real world. Honesty is the basis of satisfying relationships and an important part of getting along in a job. So take advantage on Friday 19th, Saturday 20th or Sunday 21st April to download a FREE copy of my eBook, ‘When Good Kids Lie’.


Grab a copy of the free eBook and have a read but as always, don’t forget to take a real break this weekend.


Free eBook: 22, 23, 24 March

Amazon KDP Free eBook give-away – March 22-24

A three day opportunity to grab a full copy of Katherine’s new title ‘ Twelve Easy Emotional Fitness Exercises to Tame Mad, Bad, and Sad Feelings‘. If you’re only ever going to read one of Katherine’s books on Emotional Fitness, this is the one. Everyone should know and use these exercises to strengthen their daily lives.




Fifty minutes of listening to me chat away about parenting advice and how to stay strong as a parent might be more than you can handle but there’s always a pause button!  Sit your laptop in the kitchen and have a listen while you cook dinner tonight. I might just spark an idea on handling an issue in a way you haven’t thought of before. Use the ‘listen live’ feature over at Book Tour Radio.

And as always forgive me for a bit of self promoting.