Here Come the Holidays
The Holidays Season can be a time of joy and fun, but it can also be overwhelming for many families and children. Here are some tips to manage the holidays a bit more comfortably:
- Visual input, such as decorations and bright lights, can be overwhelming for some children. Consider limiting the amount of visual input in your home or providing a quiet space for your child to retreat to if they become overwhelmed.
- Auditory input, such as loud music and lots of voices, can also be overwhelming. Consider using noise-cancelling headphones or earplugs for your child or finding a quiet space for them to retreat to if needed.
- Tactile input, such as different fabrics and textures on decorations, can be overwhelming for some children as well. Consider limiting the amount of tactile input in your home or providing a space for your child to touch and explore different textures in a controlled environment.
- Oral input, such as food that is out of routine, can also be overwhelming for some children. Consider providing your child with familiar foods and drinks or preparing them for new foods in advance. Bring food with if going to a family member or friend’s house.
- Changes to daily and nightly routines can be overwhelming for some children. Consider maintaining as much routine as possible or preparing your child for changes in advance.
- Block out time for some physical play throughout the day for your child to physically explore safely.
- Discuss with your child what will happen each day during the holiday break. Talk about where they will be going and who they will be seeing. This helps to prepare children for what comes next and can lessen anxieties when arriving at events.
- Bring familiar toys or books if bringing your child to an unfamiliar location.
- Narrate what is going on to your child in between chatting with family members. Include them in on the conversation.
- Take breaks throughout the day for yourself and child. It is important to slow down and be present. Also, bouts of one-on-one time are important for your child to feel connected and calm.
- If cooking or decorating, and your child is able to help, encourage them to be a “helper” and give them a simple task so they can feel included in the activities.
- Take care of yourself. If you are stressed, your child will likely feel it. It is ok to say no to invitations, leave from gatherings early, and to slow down. Self-care is important.
Remember to have fun. This is a special time of year and these days will pass before we know it.
*As a special reminder, HEALTH INSURANCE is due for renewal or changes in the next couple of weeks. If you have changes in your insurance coverage or if you have questions in regards to how changes in your child’s services may affect you in 2024, please reach out to us so we can discuss any questions or concerns you have.
Leaps and Bounds Therapy is a pediatric occupational therapy, pediatric physical therapy, and speech therapy practice serving Chicago and the North suburbs. Contact us today to schedule a consultation for your child.