The holidays are a time for festive gatherings and spending time with those we cherish. They are also hectic, busy and often over scheduled. Show your children, family and friends with ADHD some extra holiday love this year with these tips.
Make a conscious effort to avoid over scheduling your children with holiday activities.You know their limits, stay within the boundaries.
Be mindful that evening activities will be more challenging as stimulant medication is tapering off and fatigue from the day’s activities increases. You are getting tired, so are they.
Never underestimate the destructive power of hunger and always pack a nutritious snack.
If your To-Do list is quite long, hire a sitter or ask a friend or family member to watch your child while you race through the errands. The hustle and bustle of busy stores, traffic jams, and overstimulating environments increases frustration and behavior problems for the child with ADHD. Continue their medication even though they are off from school.
If you’re traveling for the holidays, ensure your child maintains their sleep-wake, meal and exercise routines as closely as possible. People are always more important than the trip. Don’t let late arrivals or forgotten items send you into a tizzy. Children with ADHD have difficulty adjusting to altered routines, less structure, different rules and expectations of others. Traveling to see grandparents is exciting, but it can also offer little to no structure, altered sleeping arrangements and excessive amounts of sugar.
Children usually love to play with their cousins, but after 1-2 days the fun and luster will begin to wear away. Be your child’s advocate, maintain their schedule and demonstrate the patience you want others to show your child. You are the hero for your family.
For family and friends with ADHD, consider giving them a gift that helps them learn the benefits of relaxation and meditation. People with ADHD are always on the move mentally or physically. A gift that encourages them to take time, breathe and be present in the moment is just what they need. Consider a gift certificate to a yoga class or a massage. A book on meditation may be just what they need to stop and recharge. Remember this is the season of giving and sharing. What better way to give than to give your love and patience? What better way to share than to share your kindness and understanding?