“Peaceful” may not be the first word you associate with the holidays if you have a hyperactive child, but your celebrations can still be “joyful” if you plan for the over-anticipation, over-indulgence, and over-stimulation.
Here are a few tips to help make the most of your holidays and the time you spend together as a family.
Set Schedules and Maintain Routines
Start a family holiday calendar. Mark down school vacation, events, and travel plans now. As invitations for parties arrive, add them right away. Set aside days for shopping, gift – wrapping, and cooking. Save time to spend with the family. Remember to plan an extra day for packing.
Unless you’ve met with your doctor and decided otherwise, the holiday season – Thanksgiving to New Year’s – may not be an ideal time for a “drug holiday.”
It’s important to keep your child on his or her regular medication program as prescribed during the holiday season because the holidays are exciting, and children – especially those with ADD/ADHD – need a dependable comfort zone that comes with a routine.
Monitor your child’s intake of sugar and avoid all sugar-free treats with the sugar-free chemical additives.
In many traditions, the holidays are a season of giving, but children tend to see it as a season of getting. It’s important for them – and you – to remember that Reality Rules.
If gift-giving is part of your family’s holiday tradition, keep your child focused on a few items that they really want. Too many “things” stimulate a hyperactive child, and they lose focus.
If you’re spending extended time with relatives, provide them with tips about disciplining a high-energy child to help them better understand disorderly behavior at holiday times.
Visit the Resources Library at ADHDSupportCompany.com for lots of downloadable information.
Prepare Your Child
Let your child know before, and often, about the family’s holiday plans, what’s going to happen and when, and how he or she will be expected to behave. Most times, a high-energy child merely needs to know what is going to happen down the road. This relieves their stress and insecurities, and everyone knows that stress manifests as misbehavior in hyperactive kids.
- Help your child brush-up on behavior rules for various situations, like going to the mall, parties, or traveling.
- Agree on rewards for achieving good behavior goals.
- Include your child in all family activities because this is important to ADD kids – they are more insecure than you realize when in crowds and in holiday situations.
Once the holidays begin, your family’s carefully crafted plans might come apart at the seams. Unexpected “stuff” always happens, so don’t get upset; this gets high-energy kids upset, too.
Let’s say you have a last-minute dash to the mall. Discuss this quick-trip beforehand, and work out a mutually agreeable plan, and rewards for meeting your expectations.
If your child’s hyperactivity erupts, take a deep breath and calm down. Collect your thoughts. Remember, it’s not a willful act, but instead a symptom of your child’s disorder. You don’t have to let it ruin your family’s holidays.
Take Care of Yourself
Children are sensitive to their parents’ moods and may become anxious when they sense fatigue or stress.
- If you get caught up in the holiday swirl, relieve the pressure by giving yourself a time-out in front of the fireplace or with a good book.
- If you have an exercise regimen, keep it in your holiday schedule.
- Get plenty of rest and sleep because if you you are tired, you can’t keep holiday get-togethers running smoothly.
Do Unto Others
Holidays are exhausting for the young and old, and they can be challenging when you have a hyperactive child. So, do unto others as you would have done to you.
If you are stressed and expect people to understand, to offer more help, or to just be nice, then treat a high-energy child with the same respect. Maintain your routine, understand that energies are running high, and prepare for a happy, healthy, non-hyperactive holiday season!
Remember to love and laugh a lot … https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=686837468104519&set=vb.675227379265528&type=2&theater