Intergenerational Relationships are Strengthened at the Family Reunion
Positive intergenerational relationships foster family unity and joy. The age difference in relationships can affect activities at the family reunion. Fun ideas follow for strengthening and bonding families!
A relationship, I think, is like a shark, you know? It has to constantly move forward or it dies. - Woody Allen
Don't let the age difference in your relationships deter you from having successful intergenerational relationships!
Our lives are built upon relationships and what more important relationship is there than that of the family. Our families can bring us the greatest joy in life.
Prince Andrew said, "I believe fundamentally that the family is the most important thing in life." (This quote comes from an article, which I love, by Rita Offen: "Family, the Most Important Thing in Life.")
The grandparent-grandchild relationship is vitally important! Grandparents can share family traditions and teach important family values differently - and sometimes more effectively - than parents can.
Conversely, if the intergenerational relationships between grandparent and grandchild are strong, the grandchildren might find it easier to confide in their grandparents, rather than their parents.
Grandparents! Do you live far from your grandchildren?These ideas will help any long-distance grandparents stay close to their grandchildren.
Successful family relationships aren't easy and they don’t happen automatically. They take work, dedication, love and commitment. And, if you’re not proactively building a relationship, it is automatically disintegrating.
How to build healthy intergenerational relationships
To minimize the age difference in relationships between your family's oldest and youngest members, you need family bonding activities that appeal to a wide audience.
It's been my experience that some of the best family reunion fun and ideas come from specifically targeting either the very young or the very old. Focus on activities that will help establish identity, self worth and a sense of belonging. For example -
Beyond the family reunion, there are many things you can do on a regular basis that will help strengthen intergenerational relationships, regardless of where you fit in the equation. For example -
As in any relationship, you have to be fully committed and do your part of the work.
If all else fails, simply practice the golden rule - treat others as you would like to be treated – and watch your family and successful intergenerational relationships bring greater joy and satisfaction to your life.
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