The holidays can be a stressful time for your children! Bright lights, large family gatherings, new smells baking – it can be a time filled with sensory overload. Below are 4 tips to prevent Holiday tantrums and meltdowns. Together, we can survive the busy holiday season!
Tip#1: Priming, priming, priming!
Priming is a method in which we prepare someone for an upcoming instruction or event before it occurs. For example, you can read your children social stories about opening presents on Christmas day! You could also do a calendar countdown for an upcoming festive event. Practice these events ahead of time so your child can be prepared.
Tip#2: Control for sensory sensitivities
Consider the use of sunglasses for bright lights, headphones for loud music, sensory breaks, and limiting overstimulation in your home if your child has sensory meltdowns. Find a calming area nearby where your child can safely hang out if they are feeling too overwhelmed.
Tip#3 Role Playing
To teach holiday-related social skills, such as accepting and giving gifts, role-play the situation with your child first. Praise them for all of their hard efforts! This may help him/her know what to expect and how to behave when the time comes.
Tip#4 Prepare for trips
If your family will be taking any holiday trips, prepare your child first (see tip 1 and 3), and then bring along their favorite items to help with the transition and time away from home. Consider creating a visual schedule of what can be expected day-to-day.
Please contact us at Team4Kids if you need further assistance with meltdown struggles. Have a happy and safe holiday season!
Brittany Cook, BCBA, LBA