Every year, much is written about how to prevent holiday stress. When you have a child with ADHD/LD, it is important to recognize and accept that the time from mid-November through January 1st will be a significant challenge for your child.
Having the weekday schedule disrupted, even by happy occasions, upsets the normal rhythm of the day.
It is difficult for many children to cope when the day does not follow the predictable, stable routine. There is excitement at school with special assemblies or grandparents’ day. At home there may be visitors, parents’ work schedules change, children miss their usual peers, they get to bed late and get up late, meals are not at the usual times. The result is tired, cranky children who are struggling to cope with change and to manage their emotional reactions to unpredictable situations. You are not a bad parent if your child has tantrums, refuses to cooperate or doesn’t “go with the flow.” Accept that all of these reactions might happen, unlike what we see in holiday programs on TV or in movies.
Remember, less is fine! Happy Holidays!