Saturday, November 15, 2008


The holidays are right around the corner!!! As we all know so very well our kids don't do well with the holidays. There is a big combination of things that are difficult for them to deal with: relatives (triangulation; sweet and charming behavior; lack of cause and effect thinking; ADHD), a change in routine (fear; anxiety) and parents who are wanting to give attention to other people and are stressed over their behavior. I am going to share a few things that have helped us. If you have any please leave a comment or let me know if you have written about it and I will put a link to your blog.

1. Be proactive: Plan activities. We find taking board games and spending some time playing them with our kids really helps calm them. We can't do it all the time because we are there to see the relatives but we find if we do it pretty soon other relatives join in and play games with them so we end up getting a break.

2. Take along old clothes and shoes so they can play outside. Take along nerf footballs, soccer balls or something for them to do outside.

3. Come up with a signal that conveys a message. For us it a wink. The behavior we have to avoid is having them take over adult conversations. It can be almost impossible for us to have a conversation if they are at the table because they interrupt and try to turn the conversation to being between them and the other adult. A wink can say :Warning! You will be leaving the table if it happens again. Some signal so you don't have to say it out loud and have the other adults say "OH IT'S OK" Argh.

4. Check in with them often with a hug and an assurance that they are safe.

Have a great healing weekend!


Accidental Mommy said...

I've stopped saying "Oh, it's ok" to other people's kids.

The first time I didn't say it, there was like a weird silence. Probably more so because at that exact moment I realized I was undermining the parents all these years when I said it was ok. Duh!

I had never thought of it that way until these kids came into my life.

Karen Deborah said...

God give you a big special blessing, life has been tough lately.

Christine said...

We've been laying out the plans for the big Christmas trip. Thankfully, Grandma and Grandpa (and their dog) came through here a few weeks back, so at least THEY won't be new. However, it will be a different state, different house, 17 people and sometimes as many as six dogs.

It makes the most emotionally healthy person go nuts.

We arrive early to places (before everyone converges) so that the kids have time to quietly see the new surroundings. We adhere to our regular bedtime schedule (ie: our kids will not be staying up til the traditional 1:00 or 2:00 am while all 17 people slowly open one gift at a time). Also, my husband plans to sleep with the boys, and I with the girls the first night, to help with nighttime fears (my kids are professionals in the field of nighttime fears).

This particular trip is a big one, because it's the kids' first one to see/meet this side of the family. Everything will be new and different, so we'll have to be more deliberate.

If all else fails, I'll just get everyone drunk.


Sort of.

Rick said...

You sure did purty up your blog. How does you do that? I've been afraid to fiddle with my layout - afraid that I would lose something.

I like the new profile pic too.

ali said...

i love your new digs! how did you get the little advertisement for the blog layout website to go to the corner? mine was in a weird spot, covering the text, so my babysitter got rid of it altogether. how did you know where i found mine? C did it all for me lolol im so clueless!!!

Linda said...

Pay individual attention, make the day special, allow them time for release, but keep the boundaries. This is good advice for all of us.