Holidays mean gatherings. Family gatherings, friends, Christmas parties, open houses and holiday drop ins. Family dynamics during the holidays can be challenging, even more so when you add a child with ADHD into the group.
Taking 5 minutes now to create a plan may save you some frustration later, and may actually mean the difference in a positive outcome for your child.
Take time to think through the event and plan activities or time outs for your child, you may help to avoid unnecessary problems.
Where will you be? What is there to do? What is there for kids to play with or get into? Think thru the prospects.
If your child takes medication to help manage their symptoms, holidays are not a day to skip. Carry on as usual. You are giving your child added support to manage their reactions in a large group. This will help them, you, and everyone there.
Plan activities to provide structure: a family game of Pictionary, a craft for the kids, art supplies, an outdoor game of soccer, badminton, volleyball, football or baseball, or a family walk. If you are traveling, take a small bag with many of these needed supplies.
Be prepared to become the program director. Every event needs one.
Try to incorporate outdoor playtime: biking, running, basketball, catch, rollerblading prior to attending the family function. This exercise will help your child when sitting is necessary.
Take your child away from the group for a walk or a quick game of catch outside if he or she is becoming overwhelmed and needs a break. It is easy to create an outdoor scavenger hunt. Make a quick list: pine cones, feathers, small rock samples, leaves, something that your child is interested in.
Let your child help and feel a part of the celebration. They can set the table create art place cards, even decorate and bring food to the table. Older kids can help cook. This gives them a very needed purpose, and makes them a part of the event.
Celebrate and encourage all the things that were fun, went well, and helped to make the event enjoyable.
You are the hero for your family.