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Calming Strategies for Children over the Holidays

Control and Choices can promote calmness in a changing environment i.e. allowing your child to help rearrange furniture to place the Christmas tree, pick out holiday decorations, and holiday songs.

Decrease sensory information.  Flashing lights maybe to over-stimulating for your child.  White lights are a less distracting alternative.

Quiet spots and breaks can help your child calm when visiting friends and family or when family visits.   After your child has had a break, encourage your child to rejoin with friends and family.  Include pillows, fidget toys, and books in the quiet spot and practice going to the quiet spot to ensure the child this is a safe place.

Develop a plan. Providing predictability and preparing for the holiday changes prior to the event can be helpful! Going over the schedule for the following day at nighttime can add structure to the holidays.  Simple, practiced plans are the best plans!

Routines are important to maintain over the holidays.

Environment: When decorating for the holidays try to respect the child’s favorite space or toy and see if the Christmas decorations impede their view of their favorite space or toy.

Sleep: Changes in routine can affect sleep patterns.  Try to maintain sleep schedules over the busy holidays.

Food Routines: Incorporate familiar foods with holiday meals.