Thanksgiving with the Family - Tips for Survival

    Thanksgiving with the Family - Tips for Survival

    November 15, 2018

    Ask an Expert: Thanksgiving with the Family – Tips for Survival

    It’s that time of year when family members travel from far and wide to gather, give thanks and eat a large meal together. Thanksgiving can be a wonderful time filled with traditions, famous family recipes and catching up with each other’s lives. However, some view Thanksgiving with concern about how everyone will get along.Thanksgiving

    Here are some do’s and don’ts to help your family have a better chance for a peaceful, enjoyable Thanksgiving this year.

    First, a few “Don’ts” 

    • Don’t talk politics or bring up other “hot topics.” Often the urge is to help family members “really understand” your position or understand why their position is irrational and wrong. Too often, this ends with slamming doors and someone crying in another room or the car.
    • Don’t be sarcastic, critical or give subtle jabs. These can cause emotions to escalate quickly, and feelings can get hurt.
    • Don’t try to fix each other’s problems over one meal. Also, don’t discuss the problems of other family members who aren’t there. The Thanksgiving meal is not the time to suggest someone get out of a relationship, sell a house, be a better parent or start exercising.
    • Don’t take things personally. Some family members are more “prickly” than others, but choose not to get defensive. If someone does start fishing for a reaction, don’t take the hook.

    Here are some “Do’s”

    • Take charge of seating. Set the table for success by separating conflicting personalities. Set the conspirators near you so you can put out fires and guide the conversation. 
    • Remind yourself why you are doing it. You love your family (most of them?), and ultimately, people are more important than problems.
    • Ask others about their lives. Don’t talk about yourself the entire time.
    • Give kids responsibilities, but then turn them loose. Kids simply aren’t going to enjoy being trapped at a table for long periods of time. They get restless and whiny. It’s okay if they run off after trying most of the foods. Don’t turn it into a battle. Have something for them to do after the meal.


    By: David Schramm, Utah State University Extension family life specialist, 
    david.schramm@usu.edu

    Published on: Nov 16, 2018

    Related Articles

    Ogden Botanical Gardens Celebrate 25 Years

    Ogden Botanical Gardens Celebrate 25 Years

    The Utah State University Extension Ogden Botanical Gardens will be a quarter of a century old this year, and a celebration will be held Aug. 1 at the gardens from 4 to 8 p.m.

    Read More
    How to Start the Money Conversation

    How to Start the Money Conversation

    Talking with a significant other about money-related decisions can be difficult. Financial experts suggest one reason we may struggle to communicate about money is that we are unaware ourselves of the underlying values and beliefs that inadvertently guide financial decisions.

    Read More
    Be Kind Utah Campaign Underway

    Be Kind Utah Campaign Underway

    Research continues to show that kindness is one of the most important qualities in marriage and parent-child relationships.

    Read More