Monday, November 24, 2014

Tips for Managing Family Gatherings


This week is the beginning of a long long month of festivities. These special and magical times (as Disney Princesses would have us believe) aren't all the special for those of us with children that don't like change. It's even worse if you have a child who HATES change! With many children, change creates untold amounts of anxiety. What's a mom to do? Well, here are a few hints to calming the anxious child for the upcoming holiday season.

  • Have some preparation for your child and for those who will be around your family. If everyone knows what to expect from the situation, it will help.
  • Be realistic and willing to change plans if the events become too overwhelming. This could be an exit plan if things are not going well for your child and family. It may mean a shorter visit if you have multiple events on the same day.
  • Take foods your child likes in a lunchbox or feed him/her at home before you go to an event with food.
  • Talk to the host ahead of time and figure out a place at the event where you and your child can go to take a break from all the activities at the event.
  • Take toys, books, technology or other activities with you to help your child have something to do that will provide a refuge from all the chaos and unpredictability of a seasonal event.
  • Understand that life is full of risks and they are sometimes necessary to grow and expand a child's abilities. If it doesn't go so well. View it as a learning experience. Use the situation to learn something for next time.

Relax! Have a plan! Lower your expectations! Remember, to take things in stride! You will survive each of these better if you can keep your stress level down. I know it's not easy but I am cheering you on.