Part 3: Parent’s Guide – The ABC’s for Surviving the Hectic Holidays

Dec 22, 2015, 11:57 AM

Part 3: Parent’s Guide

Take a few minutes to browse the following tips and continue in the holiday spirit!


M is for MEMORIES:

Maya Angelo really sums this up perfectly!  Holidays are about tradition and making memories.  I find myself at times snapping at others a bit easier during the busy hustle and bustle.  But, I keep a red string on my arm as a reminder that memories are built by making other’s feel good. This goes for our kids too!  Have your child do one good deed and talk about how their positive behavior made someone else feel.  In essence, you are making a memory!


Many of us have the tendency to “over-buy” for the holidays.  Too many toys can be relatively overwhelming for some children.  Perhaps quality over quantity should be a more suitable gift mantra.  Most years, our kids end up playing one or two of the toys and ditching all the others.  And oh how easy it is to lose the tiny parts once the box has been opened!  Save yourself the hassle!

O is for OVERLOAD:

The long and short of it is that the holidays involve a lot of lights and a lot of sounds that are more often than not loud!  This is not always the best situation for children with special needs.  If in doubt, call ahead and get the details of any questionable events you are planning to attend.  For instance, if you are going to a Very Furry Christmas at Sesame Place, call ahead and get the gist of the events you plan to attend so you are not paying exorbitant prices for a show your child will not enjoy.  Or, try to Google the event and see if anyone has posted a video on YouTube displaying what you might encounter, allowing you to decide if that is the right event for you and your child.

P is for PLAN AHEAD:

As challenging as it is, it is really smart to plan ahead.  Taking the time in advance to figure out all you will need to accomplish in the next weeks to come is virtually essential.  With a clear calendar of events and a well planned out schedule, you will avoid missing the Pollyanna gift you need to get for work or the holiday cookie exchange for your book club.  Events that are out of the norm are much easier to forget.  I use my iCalendar and Reminders on my iPhone for the most basic things.  For example, today my alarm buzzed reminding me to buy toothpaste.  Without that alarm, I would have forgotten to stop at CVS, resulting in an aggravating A.M. the next day as I would have had to go without my minty fresh Colgate!  Not the way I want to start any day.

Q is for QUIET:

We all need a little quiet.  Once the kids are asleep or tucked into bed, reduce your noise intake.  Go to and seek tranquil music.  Even if you are doing dishes or packing a lunch, the serene tones will help you to unwind.  Your muscles will begin to relax, and you will likely sleep better that evening.


As difficult as it sounds, having your children home with you during their winter break is a fabulous way to reinforce skills that are learned at school, but may not have carried-over into other environments.  All the vocabulary and language concepts they have worked so hard to learn during September through December can be reviewed during everyday activities-without much preparation.  If your son or daughter is one who struggles to communicate their wants and needs, then you will find an infinite amount of opportunities to teach and reinforce the concepts they have been learning in the structured school environment.  A week or two before the Winter break is to commence, ask your child’s teacher for a list of vocabulary or concepts you could work on over the break to help build greater use of all the language that has been trained!  Parents are by far the best teachers; parents know their children best!

 Stay tuned for tomorrow’s final tips on finishing the holidays out strong!


Many Thanks for Reading!
Meghan Dreyfus, MA CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist
Invo HealthCare Associates Therapeutic Consultant