TIP of the WEEK: Should We Stay or Should We Go?

October 31, 2014

You will ask yourself this question dozens of times between now and the end of December. The holiday season brings parties, gatherings, and special events that stray from your normal routine. In other words, they bring anxiety. Some family members will insist that you come to their parties, while others will ask you not to attend with your child. Both scenarios are equally as stressful and will leave you feeling guilty regardless of your decision; but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are some things that you can do to make the holiday season what it should be, festive and full of wonder:

1. Be realistic. You know your child better than anyone. If you know that your child cannot handle a large party, then do not set them up to fail. Plan a smaller get together where your child can be included or arrange for your child to attend the larger party for a short amount of time.

2. Use social stories to prepare your child for what to expect. More exposure to change does teach flexibility in the long run. Just be sure you have the necessary supports to manage your child if he or she becomes overwhelmed during the event.

3. Give yourself permission to stay home. If you know that attending a party will be too much, then don’t go. If your family is discouraging you from bringing your child, opt to plan a smaller event where they can see for themselves how amazing your son or daughter is without the anxiety that a large event can bring.

4. Most importantly, plan time to enjoy yourself and your family during the holidays. If that means keeping it low key, then do so. Whatever you plan, just remember that the holidays are a time to be with family and friends in whatever way feels most comfortable for you and yours.

Patrice Carroll
Manager of PWS Services

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