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A Balanced Holiday Season with ADD
The holiday season is upon us! Many groups, both secular and religious, have special celebrations in the fall and winter each year. Canada celebrates Thanksgiving on the second Monday of October, while the United States celebrates on the third Thursday of November. Religious groups, including Baha'i, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, and Muslim all celebrate many feast days during the late fall and early winter. When one or more members of your family have Attention Deficit Disorder, holidays might not be your favorite part of the year. Instead of the joys of family members and friends, they can bring stress and chaos to a household. How can you put the joy back into holidays, when you have ADD in the family?
Having a great holiday season with Attention Deficit Disorder is a delicate balancing act. The best balancing acts involve planning, so that each member of the family is getting their needs met. What is important to you during the holiday season? Is it a special food, activity, or time with friends that you don't get to see very often?
Here are some ideas to balance the important happenings of the holiday season:
Food: Instead of making a bunch of random sweet treats, have each person choose one treat that they really want. Don't make them all at once, but space them out, so that the family feels like the season is a special time. Bag and freeze a few of each type, so that you can make a special platter of them, if you have guests.
When you make special meals that are full of rich food, have them balanced with simple meals filled with nutrition. Don't completely disrupt your food schedule. For people with Attention Deficit Disorder, having nutritious meals is important. Limit food coloring and food additives, if they negatively affect the ADD symptoms in your family.
Activities: Activities need to be balanced with rest time. Sometimes families just go, go, go during the holiday season. For children who need a predictable schedule, this can be a problem. Alternate days filled with activities with days at home. Use those times to do special activities that the family finds relaxing. Whether you enjoy movie night, game time, or nature walks, find something to do that helps your family recharge their batteries.
Time with friends and family: Your time with others, including friends and family, needs to be balanced with alone time. Have some time set aside each day for every member of the family to be able to be alone to do whatever they need to do. Folks with ADD, especially kids, need some time to center themselves and reflect about the latest happenings. It might be meditation, exercise, coloring, music, or positive self-talk, but during the holidays this time alone is important.
When planning a balanced slate of activities, all of the people in your family need to be consulted. Sometimes their needs could surprise you. Attention Deficit Disorder lends a certain amount of creativity to the people who have it. Use that wonderful creativity to plan a memorable holiday season that has just the right amount of chaos to satisfy your family without being overwhelming.
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Content copyright © 2015 by Connie Mistler Davidson. All rights reserved.
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