Family Split

by Latrice Hunter-Miles
(Cincinnati, Ohio)

My Uncle has planned our family reunion for the past two years. Our family had been split since our grandmother (parents) their mother has passed. Last year was great we had a really nice time, although my uncle's spirit was negative and stand offish. Because he organized it, he wanted to dictate to us what we could and couldn't do because he is into the church. we all beleive in God, but he tries to control us because he "provided the area." Well, this year it was even worse. He did the same and there was nothing for the children to do. The air was just thick and he wasn't the friendliest to be around. Family Reunion is about just that - "family." Well, myself and several of my other cousins decided we were going to take over and plan the reunion for next year. We are having one child from each of the brothers and sisters to represent their family in planning. We are all 40 and feel its time for us to take over. We are meeting this Sunday and have so many ideas. The problem is, we haven't told our uncle and no one wants to tell him. What shall we do? And if we do tell him, how should we go about doing it? We are afraid that he will be upset and not show up because he won't be in charge and can't go around telling everyone what he has done and what money he's had to spend.

Comments for Family Split

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Jul 07, 2010
Focus on the positive
by: Lydia

In my book, honesty is the best policy. Even though it's painful, the sooner you tell your uncle, the better.

However, you don't have to tell him that he's a pain in the butt. Instead, thank him for the years of service he's given to the family and present the new planning committee as a "surprise" intended to "honor" he and his generation.

You could also smooth the waters by giving him a specific reunion assignment or asking that he still pay for and be in charge of a certain task. T-shirts, for example, come to mind. It sounds like he loves his family wants to be involved. But perhaps lacks the tact and timing needed when dispensing advice.

I encourage you to find a way to...

a) pass the reunion planning torch (as you're doing)

b) make your uncle feel useful


c) focus on your uncle's positive traits and contributions

I wish you the best of luck!!

Jul 06, 2010
New Generation
by: Anonymous

Family Split,
It would be best to include your uncle and share the idea of younger family members working to extend the family tradition. I would suggest honoring the time periods that your uncle had been as the host for the family reunions in the past as a means of passing the torch to the younger generation.

This has worked in my family reunions for the past thirty years. Much success with your family reunion planning sessions.

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