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Importance of Family Gatherings: Building Life Skills and Fostering Emotional Connections

Updated: Sep 15, 2023

"Family gatherings are a reminderthat no matter how far we wander, there will always be a place where we belong!"

Yesterday, I attended my cousin's wedding. As I sat there, surrounded by my extended family, I couldn't help but think about how important these family gatherings are for building life skills and fostering emotional connections. It's easy to get busy with our daily lives and forget about spending time with family. But, as I looked around at my relatives, many of whom I only see at events like this, I realised how much I've gained from these gatherings over the years. From learning new things from my elders to forging strong bonds with my cousins, family weddings like this one have a way of charging us up without us even realising it.


Indian wedding ritual - importance of coming together as a family for such events

While enjoying the festivities, I pondered how important it is to pass on the tradition of gathering as a family to the next generation. Today, technology has made it easy to connect virtually. Still, there is something special about meeting in person, and it's irreplaceable.


We all lead busy lives, and sometimes finding the time and energy to attend family events is challenging. But trust me; it's worth it! The benefits are immeasurable. When we come together as a family, we not only strengthen our bonds but create memories that will last us a lifetime!


The wedding was in an area where my dad and his siblings grew up. So, they excitedly showed us the school they attended as children, where they played in childhood and even the house where my grandparents lived. It was a special moment to learn more about my family's history and see the places important to them. As they shared their stories and experiences, it helped us see how things were different back then. It brought our family history to life in a way we cannot replicate through photos or social media.


During the wedding, my aunts and uncles entertained us with stories about the weddings they'd attended in this same town over the years. I also had a chance to share my own experiences and connect with my niece, who I heard was initially reluctant to come. We also bonded with my younger cousin and her family, whom we hadn't seen in years.


We, cousins, enjoyed the chatter, pulling each other's legs and sharing plenty of laughter. We reminisced about old memories and even made new ones. It was heartwarming to see everyone come together and have a good time.


Coming together to celebrate the couple, meeting young and old, bonding with everyone, sharing our experiences, and, more importantly, as a family, offering support to each other creates a sense of community and belonging within all of us. As I left the wedding feeling fulfilled and content, I realised once again how family weddings and gatherings have many benefits, especially for children.


Importance of Family Gatherings


Occasions like these help children learn about cultures, traditions, and values. But, more importantly, it provides them with valuable opportunities for social and emotional development. When children interact with extended family members, they build their essential SEL skills, such as communication, empathy, and respect for others. As children connect with family members of different ages, it broadens their perspectives; it exposes them to new ideas and experiences.


Events like these are an excellent opportunity for family members, who may not have been close previously, to develop new bonds. Kids can find common interests and create new connections by spending time together. For nuclear and single-parent families, these gatherings can be highly significant. Children learn from their extended family members and feel a sense of belonging that they may not get otherwise. It influences them to have a positive self-image, better mental health, and higher levels of resilience.


Sometimes, encouraging today's younger generation to join us for family gatherings can be challenging. Here are a few things you can try:


  • Start Small: If you don't have a big reunion or wedding in the near future, start with a small gathering. It could be as simple as getting together for a potluck party; it is still an opportunity for family members to connect.


  • Have fun: Plan some activities and/or games for you all to do together as a family. It gets everyone involved, and all have a good time.


  • Involve Kids: Get the kids involved in the planning stage. Children are more invested and open to participation when they are actively engaged. It also builds a sense of responsibility.


  • Share Experiences: Share your childhood stories, how these family gatherings have shaped you over the years, and the benefits of attending family get-togethers.


Family weddings & gatherings are not just about food, fun, and celebration. They're about building strong bonds, learning life skills, and fostering emotional connections. Many such experiences over the years have enriched my life and have made me appreciate the value of spending time with family even more. We must continue to prioritise these events and pass on the tradition to the next generation. So, the next time you receive an invitation to a family wedding or a gathering, pause and reflect on the value of attending and make it a priority to be there. You won't regret it!




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Very connecting n true

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Bhushan Sangle
Bhushan Sangle
10 may 2023
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I could recollect my childhood memories, while reading this article. Connecting with cousins, uncle and aunt's specially in summer vacation and Ganpati festival use to be super exciting times. Visiting our village and enjoying home cooked meals. May be the festivals were designed to keep everyone connected.


Nicely articulated.👌 Best wishes.🤞

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Anita Kardile
Anita Kardile
10 may 2023
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Totally agree with you👍

Recently we had also planned a trip to Ganpatipule with my sisters and their familie.We all enjoyed a lot and decided to plan a trip every year.


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Sneha Malvankar
Sneha Malvankar
10 may 2023
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Absolutely agree. Beautifully written. Could connect to each line

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aparna patil
aparna patil
10 may 2023
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and not just increase physical distance between relatives, kids and also we adults find it difficult to adjust , compromise and have same empathy as we had while growing up. These gatherings are a way to help us and our next generation to connect with extended family, understand that there is fun, support and something common along with differences.

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