Family Vacations

We all love our families, there's no question about it. We have to love our relatives. That's one of our jobs. But, even though you may love your baby cousin Anna, that doesn't mean she still doesn't get on your nerves every once in a while. Whether it's a birthday party or an annual family vacation for a week, what do you do in one of these situations? Do you yell at her to shut up and leave you alone? Do you hide in the bathroom and hope she stops knocking on the door eventually? Do you go to her parents and tell them she's bothering you? Do you suck it up and put on a happy face? You could do any of these things, in all honesty. But which one's the best? Which one of these many options will make it so that you don't feel bad for your cousin, and she will still want to be around you? Well, I'm here to tell you what I think is the best way to handle annoying cousins and family members.

First off, know that the little ones are not doing it on purpose. Now, sometimes they actually might be trying to annoying you, but most of the time they just want to hang out with you. Little kids look up to their older relatives. They may not say it, but everyone knows it anyway. If they're following you around and you just want some peace and quiet, make up some excuse. Don't lie, per se, that wouldn't be a good example. Just say you have to go to the bathroom, and then stay in your room and listen to music, read a book, or get on Mibba and blog about it. Odds are, they won't come looking for you. They won't come knocking on your bedroom door just to see if you're done in the bathroom yet. They have each other to occupy their times. And once you've calmed down and are ready to handle the little ones again, head back out there! You don't want to seem like you don't like them. If you don't hang out with them, they'll start asking questions. "Why doesn't she want to watch that movie with us?" "How come whenever we want to play a game she always says 'no’ or, ‘I’m a little busy right now’ They ask this to themselves and to their parents. The parents then ask you, or your parents who then eventually ask you these same questions as well. And wouldn't it be great to avoid awkward situations like that? "Alexis said that she thinks you don't like her. That you guys have nothing in common." said my mother just the other day. I felt really hurt. I had no idea my cousin felt that way, and she's only a year younger than I am. We only see each other once a year, so it's not like we hang out all the time or anything. But that was a really weird conversation for me to have. Of course I love my cousins! We at least have one thing in common: we're related! So that day, when we were swimming in the pool, I decided to strike up a friendly conversation. Asked her about school, told her about my school. It was nice, and we do have a lot in common. So, if you want to avoid slightly awkward conversations with your elders like that, simply hang out with your cousins. You don't have to spend the whole day with them, because I'm sure they'll get on your nerves quite a lot. But when you feel yourself on the verge of a nervous breakdown, just subtract yourself from the equation. Leave. Go see what the aunts and uncles are up to. Go take a walk. And then always remember to come back and put on a happy face for those younger kids again. They'll really appreciate it, trust me.

Now that we've covered the topic of little annoying cousins, let's move on to the aunts and uncles. The ones you look up to. Of course they're adults, so you can't really hang out with them twenty-four/seven, but you should talk to them at least once or twice every day. I'm not saying a simple "good morning" and "good night." I'm talking about long, thought provoking, interesting conversations. If you're at the dinner table, and you over hear your two uncles getting into a conversation about politics or religion, jump on in with your views! It will show them that you're mature enough to know what's going on around you in the world, and that you're not afraid to express your views. I know this might sound scary; I'm still slightly terrified of talking to my relatives about the economy and other types of news. Mainly because they know more than I do, and I'm scared I'm going to get laughed at or yelled at for my beliefs. Usually that doesn't happen, they just explain to me their beliefs, and ask me to explain mine. It's hard though, it really is. Because again, I don't know as much as they do, and I don't like to be wrong. But having these sorts of conversations is good, you learn about their points of views on things and you might even decide that that's your view on the topic too. Sometimes, however, certain personalities collide, and a heated discussion breaks out. Just the other day one of my uncles called one of my aunts an idiot. She started screaming at him, and he started screaming back. Now, I could have just sat there, still listening, and trying not to laugh (because trust me, it's a little funny at times), but instead I just got up and left. I was not part of the conversation anymore, and I did not want to add fuel to the fire. So when things like that happen, it's probably best just to let the adults duke it out with one another. But what do you do then, you might ask? Go back into your room and think about the whole conversation, think about everything your aunts and uncles might have said. Read a book, listen to music, go on to Mibba and blog about it! Or you could go and hang out with your little cousins. There's probably that one person in your family that you can't stand. Obviously, you still love them, but you just really can't stand anything that comes out of their mouths. Instead of ignoring them the entire vacation, try and be friendly to them. Don't try and avoid them all the time, because that's just rude. They love you, you love them, try and strike up a conversation once or twice throughout the week. Ask them how they've been, typical conversation starters that can't turn into much. You might find that he/she's not that bad after all!

What about older cousins, you may ask? The ones who are already adults, but still not as adult as your aunts and uncles? Well, I think it depends. In my situation, it's just a little hard. My cousins' are broken into two groups: the younger kids, and the older kids. There is a pretty big gap between the two. Unfortunately, I am stuck in a sort of limbo area. I am the oldest of the younger kids, by a good few years, and the youngest of the oldest kids, again, by a good few years. I usually hang out with my younger cousins, because they need someone to chaperone them most of the time, and I like to help out my aunts and uncles. The older kids mainly stick to themselves. They tan, sleep, and eat. Every once in a while we'll strike up a conversation. Because, again, they are your cousins, and you want to know how they've been doing. Maybe you're going through something that they've been through too, and then you can ask for advice. Talk about music, books, and hot celebrities. Show them that you're not that little annoying brat you used to be when you were younger. Show them you've matured, and that you're old enough to hang out and talk with them.

So, we've explored the many possibilities of how you can get your little cousins off your back. And how to interact more with your aunts, uncles, and older cousins. Maybe this was helpful to some of you, maybe not. This is just from my experience. I go on an annual vacation every year with my mother's side of the family and this is what I have observed. There's one key rule: include everyone. If you're about to go set up a movie for the younger kids, and you see one hanging around drawing at the kitchen table, go ask if they would like to join. If you're playing a game in the pool, and there's one cousin who's just going down the slide constantly, looking bored out of their mind, ask if they'd like to play too! If a bunch of you are building a giant sand castle at the beach, and your uncle is just sitting in his chair, drinking a beer, and looking out at the ocean, ask if he'd like to help. We all love our relatives, and they love you too. So instead of just assuming that everyone knows this, why not express this love? Show them you care!

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