Saturday, December 22, 2012

Holiday Help for ADHD, LD & Single Parents

"'Tis the season to be jolly!" is the chant of just about everyone at this time of the year. However, if you are a single parent, your holidays may be not be so jolly. Aside from your own feelings about the season, such activities as arranging for your child to have “equal time” to individually visit both parents for the holiday celebrations can be a real challenge for many single parents. Trying to allow for your child to spend time with several sets of grandparents can add to your stress. Then there is the gift-giving part of the festivities can, which in and of itself can become a duel of “one-up-manship”, each parent vying for the affection of the child. Often, this gift-giving can also become an opportunity for some children to manipulate one or both parents.

However, if you are the single parent of a child with ADHD or a learning disability (LD), the holidays can become particularly daunting and stressful for you, your child and other members of the family. Issues with hyperactivity, excitability, impulsivity and various sensory issues can enter into the plans and discussions of how to best celebrate the holidays with your child. Then there may be other issues that cause problems with your child’s other parent. The list of issues here can sometimes get pretty long. All of this might very easily exacerbate your child’s symptoms of ADHD or LD, causing you and others even more stress.

That is why this week, we have decided to provide you with some resources to help get your child AND you through the holiday season with your sanity still intact while keeping your child happy well into the New Year. To follow here are just a few tips to remember as you make celebration plans for your child and you over the next two weeks. At the end of the article, you will find some resources to give you additional guidance.

We hope that these tips and resources will help contribute to a truly enjoyable holiday season for your child, you and the other members of your family. Happy Holidays to ALL of you, especially our single parents and their children with ADHD or LD!

Holiday Tips for Single Parents of Children with ADHD/LD

Make time for yourself during the holidays. Do at least one activity you love.
• Knit a sweater, play the piano, or go jogging---something therapeutic or soothing.
Take advantage of offers that others give you to sit for your children.
Ask for help when you need it.
Find creative ways to be with the kids in a fun way.
Don't sweat the small stuff.
Respect the other parent as well as each other's time schedules. Promise to “get along”.
• Limit the number of items that must go back and forth between houses.
• Plan to share and volunteer.
Give up guilt.
• If you will be alone make plans - a movie, dinner with friends, volunteer or a trip to somewhere you have never been.
Trust your child's strengths.

Source: List adapted from To Merry, Unmarried Holidays: Help for Single Parents of Children with LD and/or ADHD over the Holiday Season---From LD Online---Article by Kathleen Ross Kidder

ADHD/LD Holiday Resources for Single Parents

To Merry, Unmarried Holidays: Help for Single Parents of Children with LD and/or ADHD over the Holiday Season---Article by Kathleen Ross Kidder--- Give yourself and your child the gift of enjoying the holiday season.

Avoid Holiday Havoc: Help for ADHD Children---Article by Carol Brady, Ph.D.---from ADDitude Magazine
Six ways for parents to help their ADHD children enjoy holiday celebrations without behavior problems, family conflict, or ADD symptom flare-ups.

ADHD Holiday Survival Guide---FREE downloadable ADHD handout from ADDitude Magazine
10 organization, planning, and relaxation tips designed to make this holiday season more jolly for the whole family

Keeping the Peace at Family Gatherings---Article by Larry Silver, M.D.--- from ADDitude Magazine
Sometimes having a child with ADHD can make get-togethers stressful. Follow these strategies for peaceful celebrations

Ten tips for surviving Christmas with ADHD---Article by Chris Churchill---from's ADHD and Holidays

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