When I was growing up, each Friday at dinner, we had what we called Family Council. We discussed family issues ---turning lights off when we left a room, where we would spend our next vacation, increases in allowance, discipline problems, the organizations to which we would donate money, sibling issues, division of household chores & errands, curfews, dating rules, dress codes. Of course my parents had the final say, but everyone could express an opinion, suggest a new idea... (continued)
...or throw up an issue for discussion. This made all of us, especially the children, feel like we were an important part of the family. We were listened to and heard ---even if our parents disagreed in the end. When we helped to make family decisions, our parents' strict rules didn't seem so bad.