Daily Tips: Surviving The Holidays
Dr. Quinn offers the following advice to parents to help make this holiday season a more harmonious one for ADHD children and their families:
Keep on schedule: Try to maintain your child’s regular schedule, including medication and behavioral treatment, as closely as possible.
Warn about changes: Anticipate and talk to your child about when and where changes to routine might occur. This may involve reminding your child a few days in advance as well as a few times on the day of an event.
Use available resources: Take time to teach your child how to use calendars, organizers, and written reminders to help them stay focused throughout the day.
Develop a travel plan: For plane rides, offer your child the aisle seat so he has plenty of room to stretch and move about. For long car trips, schedule frequent breaks or rest stops in order to get out of the car and move or run around outside. Pack plenty of novel games, toys, and snacks to keep your child occupied.
Going shopping together: Try to shop during off-peak hours when the stores are less crowded. Make sure you start off with your child well fed and well rested. Have patience even though your child may not.
Gift giving suggestions: Prepare your child for the excitement of opening multiple presents to help him focus. An alternative suggestion is to spread out the distribution of presents throughout the day or week.
Recognize every win: Celebrate accomplishments, small and large.
Tips from the Ghost of Christmas Past
Save some toys for later
Don't hesitate to put a gift toy away for a later time. If a child is bombarded with new playthings, feel free to put some gifts aside and let her focus on one at a time. You may even want to reserve a few toys for bad-weather or sick days later on in the year.
From: The National Association for the Education of Young Children
When company comes to visit
Clearly state the house rules concerning visitors to your home and the behavior you expect from your child several times shortly before guests arrive. Be sure he understands the relationship between his actions and the consequences (time-out for inappropriate behavior, for example). Also, verbally rehearse alternative activities he may choose during the day when he gets bored or overexcited. (Make sure he knows his choices before he gets himself into trouble.)