For many families, holidays are a great time to be together and enjoy each other’s company. But for others, this family togetherness can be a source of stress and contention. Here are a few tips on how to avoid some of this family stress at Thanksgiving.
- Pre-plan conversation topics. If you want to steer clear of sensitive topics, like politics and religion, try a conversation game during dinner, where everyone gets to know one another better. Try out these topics and rules from Psych Central.
- Make assignments. If people are busy doing a job, they are less likely to cause trouble. For example, if your aunt always complains about the menu, ask her to bring a special dish she loves, or ask the kids to help set the table or put out decorations.
- Plan entertainment. Boredom can easily cause problems. Have a stack of games ready to go or suggest other activities, like a pre-dessert walk.
- Avoid alcohol. If you have any problem drinkers in your family, let everyone know Thanksgiving will be an alcohol-free event. This might be met with some groans, but if someone who can’t handle a non-alcoholic holiday decides not to come, it might be better in the long run.
- Have a seating arrangement. Have placecards written out and assign seats. Be sure to place those who don’t get along well far apart from each other. You can also assign a “peacemaker” to each “troublemaker” to make sure things don’t get out of hand.
Do you have any tips on how to avoid Thanksgiving family drama?