Day 71 (of 185) self regulation prep for holidays
It’s almost here! The most wonderful time of year!!
Depends on the stressors (bills family deadlines) and positives (gifts, family, free time……maybe occasional family-free time…..)
The safety and predictability of the school day takes a pause. Instead, uncertain bedtimes, dinner routines (eat all the gingerbread!!) Unexpecteds and expected panic attacks, arguements, weird food….
Sigh. And not everyone gets their wish list met….but will face pressure from peers who did get the Hatchables that are so desired this year (I have done some slow breathing to be okay that our family won’t be getting a Nintendo Mini Classic until 2017).
So, my hints:
Make things as predictable as possible. Calendars help. But don’t say “we’re leaving in 10 minutes until you are REALLY leaving in 10 minutes.
Provide time and space. If someone needs to read a book (or watch Game Theory) ask questions. Are they avoiding, or needing to reset. Set up some “free choice time” and make it authentically “choice” time….not whatever you want as long as it’s ___ or ___
Bed routines are still important and the blue screens (tv and monitors) keep the brain thinking it needs to be awake and aware – limiting both quality and quality of sleep…..Good opportunity for board or card games after a Christmas movie but before heading to bed!
Remember that emotions run high- memories of passed loved ones (or separations) bring forth a flood of memories – not always at “just right” times.
Get outside. Walk and look at lights (if brave, try to carol!) and maybe even build a snow-construction!
And although it seems like a chore, shovelling snow has a LOT of benefits to help self regulation.
Listen. Take time to authentically listen to each other.
One size doesn’t fit all – not in sweaters and not in “what strategies work to regulate” (some may be even be annoying) but puzzles and games can work for many.
As frustrating as things can get….don’t cancel Christmas. Don’t make “threats” your neither willing nor able to follow through on. If you do take something away (iPad, dessert, whatever….) make sure to provide an opportunity to earn “it” back.
Enjoy the season. Splurge on a fancy coffee. Or an extra cookie (but not the whole tin – moderation in all “splurges” matters). Rest, but don’t sleep the day away – rest is rust = moving helps our body so much!
Do what you need to do to make it the hap-hap-happiest time of the year! For yourself and those around you!