Christmas Eve is a day filled with so much excitement and is also filled with a tremendous amount of anticipation. The anticipation of relatives and friends coming for a visit, the delicious meal and goodies and of course the presents to be unwrapped.
Even for adults, the anticipation can be a set up for a day that doesn’t go as smoothly as the Christmas stories depict.
When you add in a child who lives with ADHD or Autism, a day full of merriment can become a day full of stress.
With the right strategies, this can be mitigated and hopefully a well-managed Christmas Eve. Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, these tips can come in handy before big days that are often filled with lots of anticipation and big emotions.
Get kids to help in the kitchen.
This tip is a two-fold solution. First, it gives kids the understanding of the amount of work it takes to pull off creating the holiday feast. There is something to be said for learning at an early age how much work a holiday dinner can be.
Secondly, having a helper in the kitchen for a specific recipe can encourage potential picky eaters to try the dish that they helped make.
Set clear expectations.
These expectations are incredibly important for someone who is living with ADHD or Autism. Knowing what is coming next helps to manage the big emotions that come along with the big day.
From telling your kiddo approximately what time guests will arrive and what time they can expect to open presents will help keep expectations in check.
Using a Time Timer when time gets closer to the presents or guests arriving, gives your child a clear visual of the remaining time.
It might be important to emphasize that depending on how things shake out that the event might not happen as soon as the timer goes off.
Create fun traditions.
What do your traditions look like? Do you let your kids open one gift before bed? Does your family watch a movie together in new pajamas? Creating and keeping special traditions can make the season that much more special.
Do you have strategies that take some of the stress off the anticipation side of the holidays? We’d love it if you shared those with us!