A family reunion is a great way to connect and catch up with relatives.
But sometimes unexpected challenges pop up when the whole family comes together.
Parenting authors, Richard and Linda Eyre, share tips for a successful family reunion.
Family reunions are a great way to bring extended families together……whether at a place like Bear Lake or just in a park or in someone’s back yard. It creates a bond between cousins and a kind of “blood is thicker than water” feeling that helps everyone to feel the security of family and the identity of being part of something permanent and filled with love.
Try these fun family reunion activities or come up with your own:
1. The first night of our reunion we have a campfire and listen to a CD which is a mix of everybody’s favorite song of the year (including children). We have a guessing game to see who sent which song. Even though it takes some work on the part of the organizers to beg, plead and threaten to get it sent in electronically, it’s so fun for everyone to have the CD in their car or on an iPod to listen to until we see each other again next summer. Everyone loves this!
2. This year our great reunion chairman divided the grandkids into four age groups five and up who were old enough to work! Each team had a flag and got special badges (collected at the DI) for work duties i.e. doing dishes, sweeping, clearing after dinner, putting away clutter. The kids were on fire! They were begging for jobs to do so they could win the grand prize….a sleepover (with an adult) on the tennis court.
3. Another favorite activity of the year is the family tennis tournament. With 18 adults entered with widely varying degrees of expertise it always fun to watch. This year “Grandfather” and our oldest granddaughter Elle won the tournament. This fun “trophy” that teaches the real meaning of life was presented the winners!
4. The most serious and important part of our family reunion is a board meeting of The Eyrealm Foundation. All of our children are on the board and our oldest daughter is the chairman. Each year we spend one evening with the adults discussing where we can contribute money that will accomplish our goals as a foundation in helping to fortify families. Although it is not a huge dollar amount, most of our children have become intimately involved with one a great humanitarian cause and are personally overseeing how the money is spent. This year we helped send two couples to India where they installed an English learning software program called Imagine Learning in a school for children whose families have been affected by leprosy. Truly “It is better to serve than to receive!”
The place of a reunion is not important. Just being together, perhaps mending some broken fences and enjoying being together for even a short period can be the glue that holds a family together!
New York Times #1 Bestselling Authors Richard and Linda Eyre are the parents of nine children and, by coincidence, the authors of 9 internationally distributed parenting and life-balance books. They lecture throughout the world on family related topics, and are the founders of Joyschools.com. Visit the Eyres anytime at www.TheEyres.com or www.valuesparenting.com