- We are attending Thanksgiving at my in-laws and I am concerned about how they will treat my children. My husband is an only child and we have three very rowdy young boys. Last time we visited, my in-laws made several negative comments about the boys. My sons have no cousins and were bored for most of the afternoon. I thought they did as well as could be expected given they had nothing to do after the meal. Any thoughts on how to prepare?
Something about family and food gatherings brings out the best and worst of families. Before you go, plan some sort of entertainment for the kids. Bring board games, an electronic interactive game, maybe go outside and play for awhile and work off some energy, or do what my family did for years—go bowling. None of us were regular bowlers, which made the event more fun. After we ate and pitched in with clean up, a group of us headed for the bowling alley. Grownups and kids bowled together and were loud and crazy. It was a fun activity that allowed those who wanted to get of the house for awhile to do something together. And those who stayed behind had a chance to rest and relax. Let your in-laws know ahead of time that this year you will have activities for the kids after the meal. They are welcomed to join you or use the time to rest. Hopefully this will take care of the negative comments. But if those comments are still made, smile, tell your in-laws that family dinners are not easy for rambunctious boys but they are really trying. Stay on top of them with your discipline. Tell your in-laws that you are doing the best you can and hope for a little grace for the holiday. If not, you be the one who offers grace.