ADHD and the Holidays - 7 Tips to Navigate Long Breaks with your ADHD Child
Holidays and school breaks can be exciting times for children with ADHD, but they can also be challenging times for them too. The change in routine, increased social demands, and the excitement of fun trips or free time can be overwhelming. Given that Spring Break is coming up this month and families will have a good chunk of free time, I thought it would be helpful to offer some tips for supporting children with ADHD during Spring Break. These tips can help any child so even if your child doesn't live with ADHD, feel free to explore and try out some of these helpful tips!
Keep in mind, these tips can apply to any sort of holiday break including summer holidays and winter break so be sure to bookmark this blog post for future reference! I hope you find these suggestions helpful!
Stick to a routine
Children and especially children living with ADHD thrive on routine, and holidays can disrupt their usual schedule. Try to maintain some consistency in your child's daily routine, such as consistent mealtimes and bedtimes. This will help your child feel more secure and less overwhelmed by the changes in their environment.
Set clear expectations
Communicate with your child about what is expected of them during the break, such as behaviour at family gatherings and any special events they will be attending. Use visual aids, like a schedule or a checklist, to help your child understand what will be happening and when.
Provide opportunities for physical activity
Children with ADHD often have a lot of energy, which can be difficult to manage during the holidays. Make sure your child has opportunities for physical activity, such as going for a walk or playing outside. This can help them burn off excess energy and feel more calm and focused.
Limit screen time
Screen time can be particularly challenging for children with ADHD, as it can overstimulate their brains and make it difficult for them to focus. Limit your child's screen time during the break, and encourage other forms of entertainment, such as playing board games or doing crafts.
Build in quiet time
Holidays and large chunks of free time spent with family can be overwhelming for anyone, but especially for children with ADHD. Build in some quiet time for your child each day, such as reading a book or doing a puzzle. This will help them recharge and feel more calm and centered.
Plan for transitions
Transitions can be difficult and holidays often involve a lot of transitions. Help your child prepare for transitions by giving them a heads-up when a change is coming and providing clear instructions about what they need to do and what they can expect.
Finally, be flexible and patient during the break. Understand that your child may have some difficult moments, and try to be supportive and understanding. Remember that breaks are times for joy and togetherness, and with some planning and preparation, your child with ADHD can enjoy the holidays just as much as anyone else.
No matter what your plans are for the coming break, know that you definitely can make them enjoyable and stress-free. But, let's be honest, even if you can't or don't incorporate these tips, know that you are still doing a great job and your child will thank you for the memories you are making!
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