So how are you all holding up with the approach of the holidays ? Is your son/daughter excited one minute, crying the next, calm one minute, and overstimulated the next? Are you stocked up on vino and liquor like me, and have, ahem, already indulged in drinking some of it? Well, at least it’s only been the wine, but I digress. 🙂 Ah yes, the holidays are a mixed blessing for us exceptional parents of exceptional children. We know it’s not their fault. Actually, our kids are heroes to be able to get through the holidays as well as they do, in my humble opinion. But none of this makes life any easier for us, their moms, and other family members and friends, immediate and extended. So, in honor of all of us, (kids with challenges and their parents), I have come up with my 5 Survival Tips for the holidays. I hope you enjoy them.
Joanne’s 5 Survival Tips for the Holidays:
1) Try to make sure the kids (and you, if possible), get a decent amount of sleep. There’s nothing worse than tired kids, and tired kids on the spectrum have an even harder time dealing with changes and other stressors.
2) Plan out what will happen on holiday with a visual schedule enlisting your child’s help, so they know as much as possible what is happening. Examples: toboganing, library, play date at a friend’s house, movie at home with popcorn, fun center etc. This does help reduce anxiety in some kids with autism and other developmental issues. I’ve even drawn on the family calendar with stick figures for my son. Desperate times ladies…
3) Try and get away with your partner, friends, and get some alone time to regroup if things get too stressful with your child. A walk, a coffee, a glass of wine. 🙂 You get the idea.
4) Don’t be afraid of hurting family and friends’ feelings if you feel your child is not up for a another set of people coming to the house or going out to another house. Their sanity (and as a result, yours,) come first.
5) This is a hard one for me but I’m learning: Sometimes you screw up big time. Everyone has a tantrum, (and Mom’s is the biggest), and the day is ruined. I’ve learned the best thing to do is go somewhere quiet, have a good cry, (in my case), calm down, and then go back and face the music with apologies and a promise to learn from my mistakes, which I am doing.
Wishing you and yours a healthy, happy and, as much as possible for us and our kids, relaxed holiday!