Thursday, December 10, 2015

Surviving the Holidays

We all have a picture in mind of the perfect holiday. The kids would be dressed in their sweet holiday outfits, singing songs, decorating cookies and behaving like perfect angels. my house, that never happens! We finally got our tree up and last night, the cat knocked it over just after midnight. Some gifts have been purchased, none have been wrapped. I think I have some paper somewhere but the tape has disappeared. Instead of Christmas carols the sounds I hear are my kids fighting...and the days keeping passing by! It feels like the holidays will be over before I am even ready for them to begin. 

If you are feeling the stress of the season, imagine how it feels for children. Especially children with language delays, sensory issues and other disabilities. There are lots of things you can do to help your child enjoy this time without becoming overwhelmed and in turn, it will help you out as well. 

1. Keep it simple! The truth is, what your kids really want is more of you. Not more stuff, more toys, more candy, more parties...they want to be with you doing simple things like reading stories, making simple crafts and helping in the kitchen. It doesn't have to be anything big and fancy, keep the holidays simple and you'll find your kids are calmer and happier.

2. Stay on a routine. Even if your routine for the holidays is different from your usual routine, kids need predictability. They need to know what is going to happen before it actually happens. A printed schedule of pictures or words can be helpful for the child who thrives on structure. Some parts of your child's normal routine like wake-up and bedtime routines, household responsibilities and mealtimes should remain consistent throughout the holiday season. It makes getting back on track in the new year much easier. 

3. Create a quiet place. If you entertain in your own home, designate a space that your child can go to if he or she feels the needs to escape the crowd. If you are going out, discuss ahead of time a way your child can alert you if he or she becomes overwhelmed and needs some down time.

Check out these other online resources for more helpful holiday tips:

Not Just Surviving the Holidays

The 12 Days of Coping

Holiday Survival Guide

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the Down Syndrome Center

1 comment:

  1. Oh my gawd! I love her! Huge Aunt Leelee hugs and kisses to Nora Lazear! How frigging cute is she!