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