Monday, October 19, 2009

RADical Holidays

Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas are knocking on our door. "Trick or Treat" is what they ask us? There are some ways that have helped our holidays become more of a treat than a trick. I'll share a few and if you have any ideas PLEASE share them. If you'd rather write your own post let me know and I'll provide a link.

Schedule: Keep bed times and daily routines as close to the same as possible. A child with RAD who is tired or on a sugar high is NOT a treat.

Visits: At family visits keep your child close to you. One way to do this is to bring along your own activities. We would often take board games with us. We found that if we sat down and started playing them with our kids soon others joined in giving us a chance to bow out and visit. We still needed to come back to the game and check in often. If need be, sit at the "kids table" to keep things under control.

Relatives who don't get it: If you have relatives who want to cling onto your child and not follow your wishes just state simply "We are working on some therapeutic attachment right now so need to do it this way. Thanks for helping us out with it" and then just do it your way. If they continue to interfere have some information on RAD that you have copied or printed off the Internet and hand it to them with a simple "Please read this".

Exercise:Our kids need to keep moving.It relieves anxiety,depression and cannot be skipped. Take them outside,bring along the jump rope and head to the garage or basement, put on some music and have the kids dance, do something that helps them get moving each day. "We usually went for a walk after meals. It helped both of us.

Diet: Try to keep your child eating healthy foods. When there is sugar involved make sure it is coming from you. If a grandma or aunt insists on giving them sugar at a time you think is not appropriate just smile and say "Thanks. Why don't you eat half now and save the other half for after dinner. It looks wonderful"

Meaning: Our children often have a sense of entitlement and materialism. This is a good time to talk about giving and what they can do for others. Focus on a needy family or charity to which the family can give. And of course, talk about what each holiday means to you. Don't be frustrated if you child doesn't get it continues with the entitlement and materialism. It is a symptom. Treating the symptoms of RAD does not take care of the RAD itself.

Listen: Our children need a lot of empathy and understanding this time of year. It is difficult to them and having a mom who understands that and who loves them in spite of obnoxious behavior will be a way into their hearts

You can do it!

I would like to add a couple of really great posts others have written on getting through the holidays. Check out Diana's and Christy's blogs on this subject! Good stuff Maynard.


matryoshka said...

I was just thinking this this morning when I was calling us out of work/school because Jupiter was awake for over three hours last night. Her birthday is this week, followed rapidly by Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Every year she worries, among other things, that she won't get any presents. And she is completely, totlally, comforted by the sweetness of candy, but she hoards it and sneaks it and hides the wrappers behind the tv. I agree with everything you've posted here..they totally need extra support during the holidays!

Diana said...

Great post. We do a lot of the same things you mentioned here. Rather than leaving a lengthy comment here (that blogger doesn't like) I'll share our traditions and Holiday survival techniques on a blog post of my own hopefully sometime today.

peggysue said...

Your post is all full of great advice. Its funny, because we've experienced what I would say is a quantum leap in healing in just the past year. We pulled our daughter out of first grade halfway through and home schooled and believe me when I say I am NOT gifted in that area . . . and it was torture for both of us, but soooo necessary. And now, months later, I can see the benefits as she is back in a classroom for second grade, but as I read your post so many things 'pop' off the page and let me know where we still do need to do our therapeutic parenting. The sugar, oh the sugar! I am the sugar hound with our daughter and even have to police my DH sometimes as he will give out too much! But we've made progress and it is a great idea to retrench so we don't slip too much during the holidays.