Like many parents, as Thanksgiving nears (it is November 22 this year -2012) so does the anxiety of work life balance. If you are entertaining, how do you have time to shop, cook and prepare food along with all of your other parental and work tasks? If you are going to someone else’s house, how do you prepare your kids to make sure they will pleasantly sit through the dinner (cellphones away – for everyone including parents). For those that have anxiety around being with large family events, how do you prepare for that. My “go to” person when it comes to figuring out how to rid my anxiety is my favorite emotion coach (and national parenting expert) Kimberly Clayton Blaine whose website “TheGoToMom” and book “The Go-To Mom’s Parents Guide: Emotion Coaching Young Children” provide essential tips to parents.
Kimberley also hosts a weekly Google + Live Video broadcast each Wed. 11am pst to talk about parenting topics. Today’s topic is on Top 10 Things That Cause Thanksgiving Anxiety and How To Deal With Them, and I will be a co-host. Join us or watch the YouTube video as we share our Thanksgiving anxiety and tips we will be trying. Please also share your tips! I know I could use as many tips as possible!
Thanksgiving Google + Live show with Kimberley Blaine and Beth Blecherman: Top 10 Things That Cause Thanksgiving Anxiety and How To Deal With Them
1. Use your good china. Life is too short not share your fancy dishes.
2. Be sure you have your Happy Place ready Or a xanax around or bottle of wine popped open if your family is getting too demanding or annoying. You deserve a peaceful or at least a tolerable holiday! But don’t push the limits, you still need to be able to carry on a conversation.
3. Keep it low key, if you want to reach out to others to invite them – do it. Keeping it small is dandy too. Or make it easy and take a quick trip to restaurant! Enjoy whoever and wherever you celebrate it with.
4. Outsource your meal. Ask each guest to bring a dish. Who said you have to be chef extraordinaire every year? Or have a gourmet store prepare your whole meal and tell every one you made it. That way you WILL BE chef extraordinaire this year.
5. Capture the moment – Make sure the capture Thanksgiving moments with pictures or video.. That is – as long as it is not in middle of dinner (cellphones at the table = not a good idea).
6. Be Creative – if sitting together for a family dinner is not a good fit – find another way to celebrate thanksgiving. If your kids like to move, either engage in outdoor sports or find an indoor sports facility that is open. Who says you can’t celebrate thanksgiving with your family jumping together in a Trampoline facility.
**Beth added – Or if it is on a sofa together watching the Thanksgiving sports games – so be it! But she and her boys are big Baseball fans (SF Giants rock), so she wishes there were baseball games to watch Thanksgiving weekend!
7. For those still dealing with Hurricane Sandy – just being together with friends or family should be the goal.
8. For those that have holiday anxiety – remember it is just one night. Live in the moment – they go by fast!
9. Get you activity stations ready! Have games, crafts or activities ready the day before, so you can redirect rambunctious kids to keep busy. Yelling and screaming for them to get out of you way all day, isn’t an ideal holiday and you look ridiculous in front of everyone!
10. If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say it. If your mother in law makes gravy that tastes like leather, just “Smile and wave.”
Please share your Thanksgiving stories and tips!
Here is the video from our show!
Beth Blecherman just published her book “My Parent Plan” about project planning for families. She will be adding these tips to hers section on planning for Thanksgiving!