From Dr. Jane's Notebook

Family Reunion Survival Guide

'Tis the season for family reunions and special gatherings. Times like these can be wonderfully renewing or disasterous. As such, it is prudent to approach the family reunion with a few ideas of your own in mind, in order to make the experience a rewarding and enjoyable time for all.

If your family is like mine, people must travel from long distances to be together. It requires a special effort but the memories will last a long time before the next occasion arises. Getting the family together can present great challenges. Expectations tend to run high, so disappointments can be devastating. Achieving success at a family reunion really should be classified as an Art Form! For gatherings of this sort, I recommend the following:

People often search for better ways to communicate with their relatives. It requires special talent to come up with new and interesting dialogues. Here's a suggestion gathered from my son's class project on our Family History. Students were told to ask the following questions of their mother, father, and each of their grandparents:

Where was your family from originally? Were you alive before there was TV? What is the first TV/radio show that you remember? How old were you were got your driver's license? To Parents: What were your parents like when you were a kid? To Grandparents: What were my parents like as kids?

These are just a sample of the conversation starters that led to some very interesting discussions. The grandparents loved the interviews. According to the kids, the difficulty was in getting one word answers... every question led to a story!

ęCopyright, 1990, 1995, Jane R. Rosen-Grandon. All rights reserved.

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Last Updated October 17, 1998 by Gary M. Grandon, Ph.D.