Family reunions are a joyous time for all of us. Especially if we live abroad or have family members that do. And while we as parents are super excited for this, our kids might not share our enthusiasm. If our kids, toddlers, preschoolers, or teenagers, never met our families, they might be stressed about this. It is our job to prepare them for a family reunion and put a positive spin on it. How to do so? Keep on reading!
Preparing your kids before a family reunion is very important. For the younger ones, it will make them less shy or distant. And for the older ones, they will get excited and look forward to it.
So, how to prepare your kids for a family reunion?
Put a positive and fun spin on it
Talk about all the fun things they are going to do there. Tell them about their cousins, aunts, and uncles. Explain to them that there will be unlimited playtime. And that it will be like a fun vacation with new friends. Also, talk about all the fun activities you are going to do. Keep telling your kids about all the fun activities they will do.
In addition, if you have family coming over, prepare your kids to welcome them kindly. If their cousins are coming to visit, encourage them to be great hosts. This is also a time to teach your kids about being nice, about sharing, and to make familial bonds with their relatives.
Show them pictures and make video calls
In this time and age, it is hard to stay out of touch with families. We can always text them, send and receive pictures, and make video calls. If your kids have never met their relatives, make a few video calls before you go to visit them and vice versa.
Help your kids understand who is who and how they are related. Familial bonds are probably not as strong as they used to be. And it is our job to build those bonds and strengthen them within our own families.
Share your own memories
If you are visiting your family, share your memories growing up with your kids. Tell them about your parents house, your bedroom, growing up with their aunts and uncles. Share stories about your times playing around the house, or buying yummy sweets from a store nearby. When you share your memories and excitement with them, they are bound to catch it! Furthermore, if you are going around a holiday time, talk about your memories about those holidays and what you used to do.
This is also a good thing to do if you have family coming to visit. Because those memories are not just places. But they are also filled with the people that are coming over.
Talk about all expectations
Let your children in on all plans. Like where are you going to stay, sleep, and all those details. Share pictures of where you are staying and explain everything about that place. Also, talk about the behaviors you expect from them. And let them in on any other rules regarding the place and people. For instance, if your family has a special way of greeting one another, teach it to your kids.
Set rules and guidelines for your kids
It is important to tell your kids exactly how they should behave. Setting rules and guidelines help them be on their best behavior without straying. Talk to them about good manners, helping around, and appreciating everyone’s efforts in planning this reunion.
Moreover, give them heads up on how to act if anyone gave them gifts. Train them to show gratitude and express their thanks to them. Make sure to be strict about this to avoid any hiccups during your visit.
Bring along their favorites
Children often feel estranged in new places. That is why it is important to bring their favorite toys, blankets, snacks and whatever. This will help them greatly to settle down easier. It will make the new place more familiar and comfortable for them.
Snacks are just as important. Especially if they don’t like the food that is there. Of course they are gonna need to eat eventually. So, use snacks at first and start gradually to introduce them to new dishes and foods.
And still, give them their space
Preparing your kids for family reunions is important. Doing all the things we mentioned previously helps you a lot. But still, you cannot expect your kids to become instant friends with everyone there. So, be patient and understand if your kids need their own personal space sometimes.
Finally, family reunions are a great opportunity to introduce your kids to their relatives. So, take all the time you need to prepare your kids along with packing and planning.