Why You Should Take Your Kids to a Boring Family Reunion

Family reunion
1. They can see the context you came from. Hear stories about you. Possibility understand forces that shaped you, thus feeling sorry for you and being willing to forgive you your shortcomings. Or at least do the dishes.

2.  So kids can learn they are part of a bigger picture. They aren’t alone. There are others out there with ears that stick out, or a hankering for horseradish or who snort when they laugh.

3.  Its an excuse to travel, peeling them away from the electronics, even if only for a few hours. And deal with real people for a few hours, or so saith the Man Child.

4.  This got me thoughtful silence. I said, “Boys, many of those people there, though they are not your age mates, they would be there for us if we needed them. They love us cuz we are family and if we were in dire straits, we could call any one of them, and they would rally the forces to help us.

There is a study (email me if you need the reference) that says we all have better mental health if we know we have 7 people we could call if we were in desperate need.

5.  To honor the old people. My kids complained that there was nobody there their age. But, I explained, we are there to honor their great aunt who turned 80.  In our culture, it can be easy for kids to think its all about them.  Sometimes, its not. And sometimes, we do things, even if they are boring, because it’s the right thing to do.  Does anyone teach their kids this anymore?

So,

Did you ever learn anything from attending a BORING family event?

5 Comments

  1. What kids don’t know is that we can only be bored when focused on self. It is a natural thing for kids to be self-centered. But being exposed to others and having to think of others helps them grow into other-centered adults. Old farts aren’t always easy to be around. We are opinionated and often blunt. We see others our age and younger in the obituary with depressing regularity, and we wonder just how many days are left on our own calendars. Heck, we don’t have time to beat around the bush. Family is everything. But not only will family be there for you, roles will eventually reverse and they are going to need you to be there for them. Most of us aren’t the goodie-goodies kids think we are. But most of us have recovered from our stupidity and moved on–and our experience can serve to keep kids from making the same dumb mistakes if they care to listen. And you are absolutely right. Sometimes you need to do things just because it is the right thing to do. I’m proud that you are teaching your boys that very important thing.

  2. I think to honor old people is a bit one sided. Every time I talk to an old person, I’m the one being enriched by their experience and their stories. It truly is a gift and it takes patience and the ability to listen to open and appreciated that gift. It took 80 years to create, it can’t be fully appreciated in 80 seconds or 80 minutes.

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