Even the strongest families have fallouts, which more commonly happen at events where everybody is together, having a good time and maybe a shandy or two.
Garden parties are a particular tension trap because us Brits love a bit of sunshine, a few lemonades or two, and a good time. Family arguments can happen all too easily, which puts a damper on things and ruins the fun for everybody.
The good news is that there are really easy preventatives you can put in place to avoid the agg, and keep the garden party breezy, happy and argument free. Here are 10 ways to stop family feuds happening at your garden party:
Spread Out Arrival Times
If there are particular family members who don’t get on, consider offering a ‘spread out’ arrival time that enables people to arrive at different times. This will mean that those family members can stop by, enjoy the fun and leave without having to run into each other awkwardly.
Use affordable self storage to clear space inside and out. You can place large toys, furniture and other items into self storage temporarily, giving you more space for your party. If you have two family members who know that they don’t get on, they can give themselves plenty of space, perhaps one hanging out at the decking at the bottom of the garden, one inside having a chat with Nana, and there’s no need to be pushed together where tensions can rise.
Have Plenty To Do
Sometimes when everyone is sitting around talking, tensions can rise more easily than if there is plenty to focus on. As it is a garden party, having lawn games and other garden games tournaments running is a great idea. Music, talking points and ‘events’ like opening gifts or, blowing out the birthday cake candles are also useful as it means there’s always something else to focus on, helping arguments to keep at bay.
Make Lifts Home Easy
If one of the main causes of arguments is people having too much to drink, you can make it easy for them to go home before things get tense. Have a number for a taxi service available and don’t be afraid to book taxis for people when the time is right. If there are designated drivers, make sure they are looked after with delicious alcohol-free cocktails so they don’t feel left out.
Call A Truce
For the sake of a better family party, maybe those who commonly have a problem with each other can call a truce. Speak to them beforehand and ask if it is possible to try and keep things civil for the sake of the party, highlighting how this will benefit everyone involved, how much you love them and how much you want everyone involved to have a nice time.
Have A Silly Theme
It’s that bit harder to have an argument when you’re dressed as a lobster, or you’re in 80’s wigs and makeup. Having a silly theme for your garden party could be just what you need to keep things light. Could be a good chance to get those Hawaiian blow up palm trees, or pool inflatables out of the local self storage unit too.
Go All Out With Food
Food makes everybody happy, so if you are going to put more effort into any aspect of your garden party, make it with the food. A delicious dessert or yummy burger can keep any argument at bay. It’s even better if you offer ‘food experiences’ like building your own pizza, dessert tables and chocolate fountains.
Give People ‘Roles’
It’s normal to have a potluck party, where everybody brings in a dish to contribute to a buffet or meal. You can change that to a party where everybody has a job, which not only helps to keep people from having arguments because they are focused on their roles, but it also helps your party run better. So maybe your Dad can be on barbecue duty, whilst his brother who he always ends up clashing with, is in charge of manning the paddling pool. It sounds simple, but it really can help to keep things peaceful and also helps to boost egos by making everybody feel important, too.
Have A Topics Ban
Is there a specific topic that always ends up in everybody getting heated and arguing? Politics is a good example of this, especially if there are some large divides in who supports who. Sports can be another one, if people are passionate enough about who they support. One way to avoid these topics destroying the lovely atmosphere at the party is to ban them altogether. It can be approached in a light-hearted way, perhaps with anybody who starts to mention the topic in question having to do a dare, or put money in a ‘banned topics’ jar.
Encourage The Arguing Parties To Resolve Their Issues
If there is a deep rift between two people, it could be worth encouraging them to heal the issue. You could do this before the party, or, if they start arguing, take them to an empty room in your house and let them sit down and talk it out. Try saying something like ‘I love you both and you love each other, but this rift has to stop’. It could be that they need somebody to push them to resolve the problem, and you’re the one to do it. What you should avoid, though, is encouraging the issue to be discussed in front of everybody at the party. This could lead to escalation of the problem, and the potential for either party to feel ganged up on, or uncomfortable.
Your Garden Party Can Be Argument Free
With a little foresight and plenty of ‘action plans’ in place, your garden party can run smoothly. Your family is important and if they are willing to come together to celebrate with you, they should be able to put their differences aside, or to behave well during your event. With any luck, feuds will be avoided and your garden party will be remembered for all the right reasons.