How to Have a Fun and Safe Thanksgiving with Your Family

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. It is an opportunity for the whole family to get together and make memories over good food. Sign me up!

But, Thanksgiving, like all holidays, presents some challenges, especially for minors. On this page, I will discuss some of the common issues that might arise and how to keep your family safe during this holiday.


While family time should be pleasant and fun, many families have issues that can put a damper on the holidays. Some family members might have long-standing feuds or recent issues that crop up during Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, arguments can escalate and turn into full blown fights. When these fights turn physical, they rise to the level of assault. Assault is a crime in Connecticut, and if the police are involved, criminal charges could be pressed.

If your child or another minor at the Thanksgiving festivities gets into a physical altercation, they could face the assault offense. Because of this, it is best to avoid fighting.

Talk to your teen about any issues that they have with other family members. Communicate that physical violence will not be tolerated at Thanksgiving and give them coping mechanisms to help them establish an appropriate way to deal with their anger. This can prevent explosive fights that everyone will regret later on.


At Thanksgiving, many people like to indulge in a few glasses of wine or beers. While this is well and good for those over the age of 21, those under 21 should not imbibe.

If you are hosting Thanksgiving, keep in mind that you could face social host liability if you are caught serving minors. Keep an eye on your children and any other minors that are attending your Thanksgiving celebration.

Once again, talk to your children about the dangers of drinking and the potential harm it could cause to you or whoever is hosting the party. It is not worth jail time and fines just to let someone under 21 share in the toast at the Thanksgiving table.


Another potential issue that your family should watch out for is driving on Thanksgiving. We all know that the roads can get crazy around the holidays. If your teenager is planning on driving, make sure that they do not engage in reckless behavior. Inexperienced drivers and holiday traffic do not mix! If possible, drive your teen so that they do not have to.

Driving can also be dangerous if your teen was drinking at the party. Not only could they get into an accident, but they also might face an alcohol checkpoint. These checkpoints are more frequent during holidays, and the police are extra vigilant in looking for drunk drivers.

A Safe Holiday

Watch out for these issues to make sure that your family has a safe holiday. For additional resources, you can contact my office. And if your family does face one of these issues over Thanksgiving, I can help. Give me a call and we can discuss your situation.