Keeping the Peace During the Holidays Tips
Keeping the Peace during the holidays Tips
Question: The holidays are always very stressful in my house. Do you have any advice on how to keep it calmer?
Advice: Consistency and structure is a special needs child and teen’s best friend. The holidays can be very difficult to keep this flowing. Here are a few tips to keep things in check during the madness of the holidays:
- Keep the sugar to a minimum (it definitely has an effect on your child/teen’s mood cycle)
- Maintain some sort of structure (no, the tv is a bad babysitter! Create chores if you haven’t already for your child to do and be consistent)
- Lower your expectation (your child is going to have some issues. Remember that a calm parent can help to create a mood of calmness within your child)
- When school is out, create the same thing to accomplish daily (computer games, reading, listening to music, doing chores, crafts, physical activities, puzzles, writing)
- Focus on keeping bedtime the same.
- Learn how to say no to over scheduling your family and yourself.
I realize that there are some things on this list that could appear to be difficult to implement especially if you have not done so. In my practice I have many parents of special needs children and teens who have taken these suggestions and successfully transitioned into the holiday season. You must also realize that there are going to be bumps in the road. Understand that even typical children have their fair share of difficulties during their time off from school and changing their schedules. Try to take it in stride and remember to have an “attitude of gratitude” during this holiday season!
God Bless and have a lovely holiday season!
Robin Newman LCSW PC
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This post originally appeared on our November/December 2012 Magazine