My mother is visiting from Hong Kong for three weeks. This is her third visit since I moved to the US in 1993. Yeah… the third time in 14 years.
Regardless how old or how successful you are, you would always be the little girl (or boy) in your parents’ eyes. You want to please them. You want to make sure they have a good time. You want to show them the best part of your life.
Here are a few strategies that work well for me in planning family visit:
1. Give full attention - I decided not to write for a week so I can give my mom full attention. Having said that, I still caught myself thinking about other things while spending time with her. Look. Your family won’t necessary remember all the activities you have plan for them, but they will remember the conversations you have with them. Listen to what they have to say, be there for them.
2. Set Expectation – If you need to focus and work, just tell your family. Your family will respect and understand that. Tell them ahead of time when you need to focus on other things, so they can do other activities on their own while you are busy. You should not put your life on hold while they are here.
3. Plan Your Daily Itinerary – Ask them what they want to do. Plan day to day itinerary with them. Involve them in the planning process. Don’t forget your family probably won’t feel comfortable driving in a new place. Plan additional time to drive them around.
4. Show Them Who You Are – Share your daily life, your friends, your dream and aspiration with them. They deserve to know who you really are. You are not the little girl or boy anymore.
5. Do something fun – Find activities that not only interest them, but interest you also. You want their visit to be fun for you too. Your family visit should not be a burden. You should look forward to their next visit.
To recap, the 5 strategies are:
- Give Full Attention
- Set Expectation
- Plan your Daily Itinerary
- Show Them Who You Are
- Do Something Fun
Family is your VIP on this planet. Enjoy their visit! Treat them like how you want to be treated. Most important of all, have fun while they are here!