With the Holiday Season upon us and Christmas quickly approaching I thought I would share some of our own strategies we use during this time of the year to have an enjoyable Holiday Season with our little’s!
- Less is MORE! Yes its exciting opening gifts, however less truly is more especially for children with ADHD. When shopping for that perfect gift, really put thought into what the child needs, truly wants or would love to experience.
- Schedule downtime – for you and for the kids. Their brains need a break especially when there is a lot of people, events etc.
- Stick to your routine! If your kids have a specific routine they are used to at home, do your best to stick to it. Consistency is key for you and your children. Especially for those children who do not sleep in no matter how late they are up. If this means leaving an event early so the kids are content and the late night doesn’t snowball into miserable days – that’s what you need to do and its OK!
- Healthy snacks and meals. If you are going somewhere and you are unsure of what the menu will be, pack your own snacks or meal for the kids.
- Set limits before the events. This time of year there is a LOT of sweets. Some better than others, especially home made vs store bought, however set the limits with your children before you go. Help them understand WHY there are limits to how many cookies and chocolates they are allowed to have.
- Don’t be afraid to say no. You know your child best. If a family member or friend is trying to push “the limits” of food, drinks or time – politely say no thank you and re-direct your child.
- Dress your children in nice comfortable clothing. Dress up “fancy” clothing can be fun, however for many ADHD children its very uncomfortable and irritable.
- Drink Water! Ensure they are drinking adequate water for a couple reasons. 1. to stay hydrated and 2. to help their bodies process and flush the sweets they are eating even quicker.
- Empower your child. If your child is sensitive to noise and a lot of people, ensure your child knows to come to you if they at anytime feel overwhelmed and need a break.
- Involve your child! If your ADHD’er likes to help – let them feel important by asking them to help you or someone else with something!
- Use your calendar! Write what you are doing on the calendar with times so the children know what to expect and when.
- Comforts of Home. Encourage your child to bring something familiar from home. Especially for younger children, bring a toy, stuffy or blanket they are close to for comfort. This is important if you are going to events with people your children have not seen in a while or have never met.
- Limit electronics. For many children this can be a crutch, however with already so much stimulation its important for their brains to have a break.
- Whats the plan? Before going to a function – family or friends – go over with your children what they could expect – but don’t go into great detail. Let them know you will check in with them and at anytime if they feel overwhelmed or uncomfortable that its OK for them to tell you.
- Be fair to you! If your child has a melt down – support them through it. The worst thing we can do as parents while an ADHD child is mid-melt down is to tell them to snap out of it and stop it. This is tough on the parent and child. Its more important to show the child love and support. Regardless of what others think or say – you know your child best.
- Build them up! Praise works wonders for everyone, however for children with ADHD it really does lift them up so much higher! If you see them being respectful, polite, playing with the little ones in a gentle way, helping others – tell them!
We also use Essential Oils in our home to support our children. We apply them morning and night and I always have oils with me as well when we are out and about. There has been many times I will sneak off to a quiet place with the kids to comfort them, oil them up and talk. This lifestyle certainly is a learning experience and is one that is different for everyone. There are many ADHD signs and symptoms as well as many various things or “triggers” that will affect each child completely differently.
Wishing you and your’s a wonderful Christmas and Holiday Season this year! 💓