Here are a few helpful reminders to help you and your family enjoy this holiday season:

• Setting the bar – Don’t do too much!! Remember that the holidays are full of love and stress, fun and exhaustion, hope and sensory overload. Be mindful of the activities you have planned and make sure you are setting the bar appropriately both for your child and yourself. Long day? Plan sensory activities, snacks, and breaks throughout the day to help your family have a successful, enjoyable day.

• Choices – Offer choices when selecting what foods you will make for a special occasion. You can facilitate connection and honor their culture by asking a child what they would like to include during a special dinner. Also, remember to find times throughout the day to offer choices in various contexts.

• Consent – Remember to practice consent when at family get-togethers. Role play with your child proactively about what it may look like to “pass” when someone asks for a hug. Talk to family members ahead of time about the importance of consent and empowering the child’s voice.

• Stick with the plan! – Try your best to stick to daily schedules including naptime, bedtime, meal/snack time, etc… If you must deviate from your child’s normal schedule, remember to adjust the bar appropriately so that they may be successful.

• Self-care – Please… Please… Please… Did I say please? PLEASE remember that the Empowering Principle applies to you, too! Don’t forget to sleep (when possible), eat meals and snacks, drink water, and take breaks.

“Our children need to know that they are precious in the sunshine and in the rain.”
-Dr. Karyn Purvis