Only a day left until the long weekend starts. With Thanksgiving on Monday, many students will be heading back home to see their families much to their delight (or dismay). We thought we’d give you a little bit of unsolicited advice on how to handle family time and get through the weekend as stress-free as possible.
Don’t expect everything to go perfectly.
Hope for the best, expect the worst. You’ll be a lot more disappointed when something inevitably goes wrong if you’re hoping for a flawless holiday. Don’t put so much pressure on it and you’ll find, when things do go wrong, you’re a lot better able to cope with the issue(s).
Remember, families regress
Were you ganged up on by all your older siblings? Me too. Don’t expect that to change any time soon. While you and your siblings might be all grown up now, families tend to regress to their old ways of behaving. Being aware of this pattern might not enable you to break it, but you might be able to handle the situations better as they arise.
Identify subjects to avoid
You the only Liberal in a family of Conservatives? Probably best to keep politics, religion, and any hot-button topics off the table (the Thanksgiving table, if you will). This will perhaps reduce the risk of a blowout between family members with different views on touchy subjects. Thinking ahead on what subjects cause problems, and how you might be able to change the subject, will undoubtedly come in handy.
Think your family might be better behaved with a guest present? Invite one! Having a friend or other guest at your family gathering will invite fewer questions and attention onto you. Grandma might even ask your guest about their love life instead of you! Phew.
Set up a childcare schedule with the adults
Oh joy! Your oldest siblings are bringing their kids. They’ll probably want you to babysit them through the holiday again right? Wrong. Child care tires everyone out and everyone wants a chance to visit and catch-up, probably 😉 . Set up a child care schedule with the family beforehand so no one gets burdened with it the whole time.
Keep alcohol intake in check (especially with problem family members)
Have an uncle that tends to get rowdy after drink five? Maybe it only takes your aunt one. If you know your family tends to run into issues when there’s alcohol involved, it mightn’t be a bad idea to keep the wine locked away. If a dry event isn’t a possibility, limit the family’s intake to one or two glasses.
Luckily, you’ll have a full reading break to recover from the events with your family. We hope this list helps you survive another holiday and, maybe, even enjoy it a little more than usual.