Getting Ready for Big Family Events

Happy Thanksgiving to all! I hope all my readers get to spend this turkey and football filled holiday with the people they love. Many of you might be taking your children to an event with a whole lot of family members they rarely see.

How can we help them feel comfortable? How exactly do you explain a second cousin to a three year old?

Start today. Pull out those photo albums or pull up facebook. Find pictures of all the people you are going to see. Explain “This is mommy’s cousin Sarah. She is your cousin too. Sarah lives in Texas. That’s where Grandma lives too.”

You could try singing a little song about the people in the pictures. I personally learn names faster when I sing them. (That is why each of my parent-child classes has a name song in it!) Try “Mary Wore Her Red Dress” with the people in the pictures. (Lyrics and link to the tune are below.)

Maybe your child could draw a picture for each person that is going to be at your feast. Helping your child create something for each person that will be at your feast will give your child a reason to speak to each person and something to talk about.

You might also want to think about how you can set your child up for success at the big meal. Are there going to be other children there? Is your child going to be the only young person? Should you bring books or crayons? How long are the adults going to be sitting at the table? Is football the main event? You know your child better than anyone. What is a quiet activity that will keep them interested while the boring adults have a conversation over coffee and pie?

A little forethought can help your child have a great Thanksgiving. Setting them up for success will help you be thankful for their good behavior!

Happy Thanksgiving. Let the hand-traced turkey making begin!


Mary Wore Her Red Dress
Mary wore her red dress, red dress, red dress.
Mary wore her red dress all day long.

Change the song to be about your family:
Grandma wore her green shirt, green shirt, green shirt.
Grandma wore her green shirt all day long.

Here is a link to Raffi version of  Mary Wore Her Red Dress on Amazon. You can listen to enough of it for free to get the tune or you can buy the song and support a great children's advocate.