We hope these simple tips help you minimize or avoid holiday meltdowns. After all, everyone deserves a “Silent Night”--especially you!
What Causes Holiday Meltdowns?
There are quite a few holiday-specific things that might trigger a meltdown:
Yes, there are a lot of potential holiday triggers. But don’t worry–we’ve got you covered with some easy, tried-and-true tips to manage meltdowns.
3 Tips to Manage Holiday Meltdowns
Even Santa Has a Schedule
Never underestimate the power of a schedule! One thing that contributes to overstimulation is simply being surprised and caught off guard by new routines and events. This makes sense because all children crave safety and stability.
A Code Word Saves the Day
This tip is fun because it lets you keep a “good secret” with your child. Together, pick a “code word” that means something to the two of you. When your child uses it, you’ll know right away that they’re overwhelmed and need help. Maybe it’s “Cheese Whiz” or “Sprinkles.”
Keep an Eye on Sweets and Treats
If your child has food sensitivities or allergies, you’ll probably have to be more vigilant and allow for extra planning over the holidays. But whatever efforts you make, they’ll more than pay off in the end. To help your child feel included in the festivities, make sure they have special options that suit their needs: sugar-free candy, dairy-free hot cocoa, or gluten-free cakes.
Holiday Meltdowns: The Gift of a Parent’s Love
It is important to remember that meltdowns are a cry for help. Whether your child is overstimulated, anxious, confused, or dealing with food sensitivity, they are counting on you to guide them through it. Simply by being present with them, you are making a huge difference.
At Sensory Scout, we have some excellent, travel-friendly sensory solutions that can help ease the stress and anxiety of the holiday season. Fidget spinners and squeeze toys make great pre-holiday gifts that will help soothe your child the whole year through.
Avoiding Holiday Meltdowns: Conclusion
If you have yet to decorate, be sure and include your sensory child in the fun! Feeling like they helped and being involved in the process are empowering actions that make your child more likely to accept the changes.