The holidays can be a tricky time for kids with ADHD. Change in routines, endless gatherings and social pressures can zap the cheer right out of the season.
We asked our Facebook community to share their tips for helping kids with ADHD survive the holidays. Their tips might just make the weeks between Halloween and New Year’s merrier and brighter for your own family.
Here’s what our community shared in response to: “I help my child with ADHD survive the holidays by...”
- “Staying on a regular schedule!” — Stephanie
- “Giving her downtime. Keeping up her meds. Letting her know what we are doing and where we are going far in advance.” — Rebecca
- “Making sure we always have an alternate way to leave a situation if he becomes too overwhelmed.” — Chelsea
- “We stay home where he feels safe.” — Lisa
- “Buying him a new set of headphones to ‘tune out.’” — Melissa
- “Staying on sleep schedule, making sure that the kids aren’t overloaded with too many ‘treats’ and making sure I’m not asking them to do something outside of their limits. We aren’t going to a quiet family meal at 7:30pm, but we would LOVE to go to an indoor trampoline park at 5pm.” — Dawn
- “Doing less!” — Sara
- “Being the ‘food police’ around my family and friends. None of that ‘just one bite’ or sneaking food someone thinks I should let her have.” — Ginny
- “Letting him help decide what we do and don’t do. He gets to say he’s had enough.” — Jessica
- “Giving my daughter the opportunity to have some quiet time away from the family when needed.” — Gaylee
- “Accepting that sometimes it’s better to opt out of an activity (even with family) if there’s a high probability it’s going to end badly.” — Monica
- “Preparing him for the upcoming transition with daily reminders of acceptable behavior.” — Priscilla
- “Keeping quiet times built into the day. They’ve outgrown naps, but they can still go have ‘quiet time’ for an hour to chill.” — Adrian
- “Giving choices, as well as transition and behavior reminders. And most importantly, recognizing his efforts and telling him frequently that I can see him doing his best.” — Jessica
- “Just letting him be himself, accepting him, talking my family through his process, talking him through his processes, and knowing we won’t get this time back: So, enjoy it.” — Stephanie
- “Embracing the chaos!” — Lylyana
Download a holiday behavior worksheet to help make the season smoother for you and your child.
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About the author
Lexi Walters Wright is the former community manager at Understood. As a writer and editor, she helps parents make more informed choices for their children and for themselves.