Everyone loves the holidays but no one loves the drama that comes along with them - especially kid drama. Many a barbecue has been ruined by tears, tantrums, and tattle tales. These 3 tips will help you plan a tear-free family gathering that appeals to everyone.
1. Select a place that allows the kids to be kids without limitation. Let's be honest, you don't want to spend your entire day shushing a brood of playful cousins who are acting like a pack of hyenas or telling everyone to sit down and stop running while you are trying to stir the potato salad. You may love to entertain at home, but if don't want to find barbecue sauce on your upholstery tomorrow, shift the festivities outdoors. If you don't have a yard that is big enough, check into reserving a pavilion at a local park where the kids can run free in the sun and the adults can sip lemonade in the shade. Everyone will be much happier and you will save money on stain guard and carpet cleaning!
2. Pack light but pack right. If you took advantage of tip #1 and are traveling to a park or even to someone else's home, come prepared. Be sure to bring extra outfits, bandaids, medicines, mosquito repellant, and snacks. Nothing ruins family fun like an unexpected diaper accident or an outfit that becomes drenched and won't dry. On summer holidays, kids inevitably will find a way to get wet and/or hurt. Don't be caught off guard - bring extra outfits and medical supplies for everyone (including yourself) and plan ahead!
3. Prepare for Panic. When the kids have finished running, playing, swimming, and skating they will inevitably become bored and start to fight. This is when you break out the heavy mom artillery - games. However, as you may still be visiting with friends and family you don't want to choose games that need too much supervision. Coloring sheets, crossword puzzles, or simple games like Uno provide hours of fun and keep little butts in seats for a few more minutes while you finish your cole slaw.
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