That time is upon us, the time of family gatherings, television commercials promising us that the gifts we buy will equal eternal happiness and, of course, endless amounts of food. So how do we get through the next few months and maybe even manage to enjoy yourself?
1. Do your homework. If you are going to a holiday party, find out what food will be there and ask if it can all be kept in one room. If the host is not willing or able to do that, stay home. Give yourself permission to say no. If staying home will cause the family equivalent of world war 3 then arrange for your child to come for a short period and then go home with another family member or caregiver.
2. Assign one person at a time to watch your child at all non-routine events. It is a well known saying that if everyone is watching then no one is watching.
3. Keep routines the same as much as possible. Choose one event for the season. More is not better and everyone will have a more enjoyable holiday season if routines are kept and days are predictable.
4. Take time for yourself. You set the tone and your stress level will make or break the day. As hard as it may be, ask for help from friends and family members. Even if it is simply to have someone watch your child while you take a bath or wrap presents or spend an hour doing nothing at all.
We all experience stress during the holidays and the excess amounts of food and disruption of routines make it that much more difficult for PWS families. Planning ahead and giving yourself time to relax will help you and your family have the holiday that you deserve.
Submitted byPatrice Carroll Manager of PWS Services