If you have been in any store recently, you know that the holiday season is upon us. For some parents, this means dealing with a child on constant overwhelm and possible meltdowns. If you dread this part of the holiday season, just a few changes will give you lots to cheer about.
1. Keep Routines
Kids with learning differences thrive on routine. Throw in a long school break and holiday parties and they’ll quickly move into overwhelm. If they meet with tutors or learning specialists, keep all appointments.
2. Provide Chill Time
We all need time to unwind especially kids with active brains. Schedule at least 10 minutes each day without technology or noise. Maybe introduce a mindfulness practice that focuses on breath.
3. Get Physical
It’s super important to move stress out of our bodies through exercise. Walking around a neighborhood with holiday lights is a great way to be physical and bond with your child.
4. Maintain Sleep Schedules
Give your child the comfort and reassurance of consistent rest and rise times. It’s good for their health and it helps with consistency.
5. Provide a Comfort Bag
Keep a colorful, soft bag in the car that includes fidgets, crackly paper, bubbles, shiny objects, and other favorite toys. The objects provide immediate security.
6. Discuss New Situations
Before your child is in an unfamiliar environment, give them a heads-up. Talk about time-telling, event sequencing, and motor and social skills. This can also be followed up by your child’s therapist.
Show your child in black and white what’s coming up in the next week. The visual picture of a schedule will help to calm nerves.
8. Free Up 10 Minutes
Spend 10 minutes each day consciously not doing anything holiday related. This takes some pressure off your child and reassures them that things will be back to normal before they know it.
9. Throw in Smell
Using essential oils is a great way to create a relaxing environment. Try lavender, wild orange, or Roman chamomile to soothe a nervous child.
10. Make Time for Siblings
We all know that siblings may feel left out with extra attention placed on the child with learning differences. Include activities for siblings especially during the holidays.
Now that you have some tips for a calm holiday season, read here next month to find the hottest new toys and games for children with learning differences. Happy Holidays!