Surviving the Holiday Season with Children with ADHD

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6)      Make sure your child understands that there are different rules in different households. When visiting friends and relatives, let them know ahead of time what behavior is expected in that house. If you are visiting a relative that does not have any children and normally has items out that can easily be broken, talk with your child before you enter the house. You may also want to shorten visits if you see that your child is not handling the situation well.

7)      Think about the invitation you have received before accepting. Is this a place you and your children will feel comfortable and accepted? Is this a place where you can gently excuse yourself for a short time to allow your child a few minutes of down time to calm down if they need it?  You do not need to accept every invitation; it is okay to politely decline if it is in the best interest of your family.

8)      When visiting friends or relatives at mealtime, ask ahead what the menu will be. If there are not any foods your child will like, bring along dinner for them or make sure to feed your child dinner before you go. Your child will be much better behaved if they are fed.

9)      When opening gifts, set rules ahead of time. Tell children that no toys are to be opened until all gifts are open and gift wrap is thrown away. This may cut down on toys being broken before they are even used or items accidentally thrown away with the gift wrap.

10)  Take time to have down time at home with the family. It is important during this season to remember and cherish your own family. Plan nights for your family to stay at home either preparing for the holiday or simply spending time together. Taking time out for “family movie night” can do wonders in letting everyone catch their breath and stay focused.

Remember that the holiday season is a time of joy, sharing and family. Keep in mind that children that are overwhelmed from the activities of the season will show little appreciation or caring for others. Take time to appreciate your child and your family and have a joyous holiday.

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