Headed to a Family Reunion? 5 Survival Strategies
Summertime means family reunion season is here.
Our last big family reunion was in South Carolina several years ago, but I still have fond memories of getting together. And special shout out to my cousin Bernard Seals, who took the time to trace our family history way back to slavery and then "built" an amazing family tree on one of the hotel walls. That was amazing!
On the other hand, we've all seen scenes from one of Madea's movies and could relate to a crazy uncle, Cousin Ray-Ray or other "colorful" characters in our family--just hopefully not a gun-toting Grandma!
Either way, family reunions are great ways for families to reconnect--kids need to see that they have roots (even crazy roots) and see their family as beyond their home and nearby relatives.
This year, I'm super excited to have an opportunity to speak at the Tom Joyner Family Reunion in Orlando, Florida. It's an annual confab of African American families and I'm honored to bring my message of empowering families of color to this gathering.
Ok, ok, I'm also super excited that Jennifer Hudson, J-Hud herself is performing !!(I'm a huge fan!) along with the very chocolate-y Brian McKnight (dee-li-cious! LOL!), among others.
Plus, I would love to plan a destination family reunion in Orlando for my own family sometime soon so I'm hoping to pick up some tips and scout out the scene while I'm there. (Wish we luck!)
In the meantime, if you have a family reunion to attend this summer, try these survival strategies.
1. Get to know the area: There's such a thing as too much family bonding! Scout out the area to see what local places of interests there are just in case you need a break from all the family love.
2. Make sure the reunion will include kid-friendly activities. If not, offer to organize a talent show, treasure hunt or softball game.
3. Make sure you have some "me" time: Since most family reunions double as your summer family vacation, make sure you find time to recharge your own batteries. Don't be afraid to find an auntie or cousin with kids your age and arrange a swap.
4.Take time to talk: Barbecues and activities are great, but there's likely rich history and exciting life stories within your family. Take the time to really get to know your family, you'd be surprised what you might find out about your family's past and who's doing great things right now!
5.If you get in a too-long conversation with that weird uncle, practice conversation enders like, "That's wonderful news about your worm farm, Uncle Harvey, but there's someone over there I've been dying to say hello to. Please excuse me." And when the dysfunction of your family (hey! we all have a little bit) gets to be too much, simply take a walk or ride somewhere else.
Have fun! You only have one family.