How can I get my 24-year old son be more involved in family activities and reunions?

Libi - posted on 04/02/2016 ( 9 moms have responded )

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Hello hello.
My son hardly joins when we have reunions, parties, games, etc. He is 24 years old and has been like this for the last 12 years.
I appreciate your advice. Thank you.

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Stephanie - posted on 04/02/2016

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I don't think anyone would agree with me but I'm the same age as your son and I use to be the same not wanting to attend anything my family had. Have you ever asked him why he doesn't attend. I have my reason when they asked I answer it was that my family always give their opinion and never stop til they have the last word. I now attend to some of them but not all.
Only thing I would do is when you have reunion or anything like that let him know. If he has a gf or friends tell him to bring them along.
If not do something he likes and invite some of the family and tell him to bring his friends for it not to be to overwhelming of all the family to be there. I hope this helps. Just remember baby steps. If not start with just you and him going out to eat learn what he actually likes to do and try to get involve. He might reject it at first but give it time. Don't overwhelm him at first try 1time every month or two
Good luck hope this helps

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Jodi - posted on 04/05/2016

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But you said he didn't attend from the age of 12, so if he has lots of male cousins, then by not attending from age of 12, he didn't have the opportunity to bond with them during his teenage years, so therefore, it makes sense that he doesn't feel connected enough now. That's my point.

Libi - posted on 04/05/2016

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Hello, Jodi.
Nothing made me think. Oh! This only makes me think right now that he joined us as a child because he did not have other options. Also because there were a lot of male cousins in the reunions.

Libi - posted on 04/05/2016

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You are right. I have never forced my sons to do what they do not want to do. It is just that I would love him to join us from time to time.

Andrea - posted on 04/05/2016

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I don't really think its anyone's fault that he hasn't attended for the last 12 years. When you're in MS, HS and college you don't really like reunions etc. Every kid is different but I don't think it is fair that to say you can't "force" him either. I think if anything you can make a deal to attend at least 1 event a year, I mean thanksgiving and christmas is a pretty big deal for him not to attend.

Michelle - posted on 04/02/2016

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I agree with Jodi, you had allowed it when he was still a child, not that he's an adult you can't do anything except let him know when they are on.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 04/02/2016

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Jodi has a point. When he first started not wanting to attend, you allowed that...so of course he's not in the habit of attending now.

Jodi - posted on 04/02/2016

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What makes you think, now that he is an adult, he is likely to join in any more than when he was a 12 year old (when you actually had more influence over encouraging his participation)? If he wasn't attending parties, reunions, etc at 12, then this is a habit YOU have continued to support, because when he was 12, you had options as a parent. Now you don't. All you can do is continue to invite him and encourage him, but you now have to respect that he is making an adult choice.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 04/02/2016

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You cannot force an adult to do anything they do not wish to do. At most, you can let him know that the family misses him at these events, but you cannot force attendance

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