The holidays are the perfect chance to reunite with family. However, some family gatherings can get overwhelming, and might not end up being the funnest. Experts have come up with tips, to avoid the discomfort of being asked why you didn’t bring anyone this year either, or discussing conflicted political views and life choices. Here are 5 suggested ways to survive family meals these holidays.
Give Everyone Something To Do
When you haven’t been living at home for a while, you sometimes feel like a guest when you go back for the holidays. Most tensions rise initially from pressure. Your mom wants to be in control, your in-laws are not helping with anything, the kids are all over…etc. Furthermore, experts suggest that giving everyone a task during the meal preparation could help release a lot of these tensions. So, when it’s time to sit down together, you can at least enjoy your family meals without feud.
Create Activities For The Kids
Children should also be assigned something to do. Otherwise, they will be all over the place. Making kids feel valuable, responsible and a big part of the event will help them behave. According to clinical psychologist Anne Fishel, creating simple conversations with kids will raise their sense of responsibility, as well as interactions with grown ups. Ask questions like ”How was your day?” or ”Did you know where your name came from?” their active listening will keep them away from trouble.
Arrange The Seating
Just like in any big event, seating plays a key role in avoiding conflicts. if you aunt Susan doesn’t like dogs, don’t seat her next to your uncle Bob who owns 3 dogs. Actually, you can allow children to help with the seating, and that way they feel included in decision-making. Grown ups will tend to appreciate the young ones’ ”handiwork” and might even shift attention away from complicated conversations.
Avoid Getting Drunk
Alcohol during the holidays is like tradition. However, it’s always risky to have ”two much” to drink when with family. according to psychologist Marie Walker, if alcohol can’t be replaced by a non-alcoholic beverage, then you should do the math to have just enough for everyone. This will prevent chaos due to getting drunk.
Keep Some Topics Off The Table
Finally, nothing avoids problems like setting limits. don’t be afraid to set things straight. Make it clear that you each have different opinions and outlooks on life. Also, make sure not to take things personally, and remind yourself why you are there. After all, you may not get to see this people again until next year!
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