Transitioning into the Winter Holiday Season

The holiday season is ramping up and while it can bring a ton of fun and happiness, it can also signify a lot of change. Shifting from the routine and structure that school brings can be stressful for both children and parents. Here are some tips that can help you and your family transition into the holidays (and back again) more smoothly!

Use visuals to communicate upcoming events.

Prepare your child for upcoming holiday events by using a calendar or visual schedule. Some children may prefer to see all activities planned during the upcoming weeks so that they can prepare, whereas others may get overwhelmed (or frustrated if plans change). Provide details that will help your child feel more secure, such as who will be there, how you will get there, and when they will be coming back home.

Maintain a consistent sleep schedule.

It’s wonderful to sleep in or stay up late to watch a movie, but changing sleep schedules can lead to being overtired and make it more difficult when it’s time to go back to school. By waking up and going to bed around the same time each day, your child will be better prepared for those special family events that do require staying up a bit later than usual.

Snacks are your friends!

Holiday parties often include an array of new foods (or ones that are prepared differently than your child is used to). Now is not the time to hope they will try that sweet potato casserole (although they may surprise you!). For children who are selective about what they eat, it’s wise to bring some familiar foods when you go out.

Advocate for your child’s needs.

During the holidays, you may be spending time with family that you haven’t seen in a while and who don’t know about your child’s preferences. This makes understanding, respecting, and communicating your child’s sensory needs extra important. If your child gets easily overwhelmed during larger gatherings, ask the host ahead of time where they can go to get some quiet time. If your child isn’t a fan of hugs, let family members know that your child would prefer to say goodbye by waving or giving a high five instead.

Know that you’re doing your best.

Family can be a wonderful support system, but sometimes they can make comments that make you second guess your parenting choices. While they may have good intentions, you know your child best. Trust that you are making the right choices for them and their happiness.

Happy Holidays from your KMBC team!