For many typical families the holidays are simply a great change of routine.
They look forward to the many things that will be different during this season– a break with the daily standard.
But that very change of routine, along with odd hours, different foods, different sounds, different activities– these are the things that can unravel a Sizzler.
But take heart, there are two MAJOR things you can do to prepare both you and your child for the energy filled season that is to come.
FIRST: Check your expectations
Right now, this very moment, put your Norman Rockwell notions in a box. Put a pretty mental bow around them. (Personally, I’m fond of teal)
Now put the box under the bed. . .far to the back.
While you’re doing that, you should see another box hidden in the shadows under the bed.
Reach in and pull it out.
You’ll know it. It’s a ratty looking little thing.
The corners are dented in.
There’s some kind of food stain along the top and splashed down one side.
There’s a bow too. . .sort of. But it’s looks hurriedly thrown together, a tad askew, and showing more than a few unraveling threads.
Yes, pull it all the way out into the light.
Here it comes.
THIS is your box. It is how holidays often go.
It is reality.
Now, tug on that bow, take the lid off and look inside.
While the holiday boxes of other families have a standard complement of items,
yours is full of things that one wouldn’t expect, things that are surprising and completely unpredictable.
Your box contains some odd things, some funny things, some hysterical things, maybe some shocking things.
But each one brings a memory that is uniquely your family’s.
And weaving in and out of all the memories in this box is the heavy cord of love you feel for your family.
This unpredictable family.
This oh-so-very UN-Rockwell family.
Keep your mind and your heart on THIS box this season. Don’t pull out and cart around a set of demanding expectations that may then serve to destroy your ability to enjoy the love in this box that you have.
Your holiday memories are YOURS to create.
Do what works for you and your family.
Nothing more is needed.
SECOND: Prepare Your Child (Warning–Shameless Product Promotion)
What else can we do? Turns out there are many ways you can equip your Sizzler to better handle the things they’ll encounter during the holidays.
There are ways to train them, to equip them for some of the sights and sounds (and smells and touches) that the holidays will bring.
(sudden hugs from eccentric aunts, smell of cousin Bob’s traditional fish/apple muffins).
I’ve thrown out ideas here and there over the years, but I’ve always known that one day I’d put together a sort of
Holiday Social Skills Boot Camp.
This turned out to be the year.
I’ve put together an Ebook that is full of exercises for you and your child to do that will prepare your child for what is to come.
You’ll find activities that teach
- Taking turns when playing with cousins
- Taking turns when conversing
- Use the A-C-E-S method to open and respond graciously when getting a gift
- How to give the Sizzler a sense of familiarity with things they’re seeing and people they’re meeting for the first time.
- How to create a “Get Away Space” where your Sizzlers (and you?) can recharge and recenter themselves during difficult times.
and much more.
There’s a badges page with icons that represent a skill set (think Scouting badges). You can print them off and give them to your child to recognize achievement of a desired skill.
There’s also an printable certificate to award to your child when all skill sets have been learned.
In addition, there’s a section of items just for parents, to encourage YOU to enjoy this holiday as well.
This is an ACTION ORIENTED book of exercises.
It’s not just a lovely leisurely read.
It if full of things you are to do.
It’s a truly rapid training boot camp of social skills and awareness exercises that will benefit your Sizzler (and frankly all kids).
And if they’re more prepared for the things to come, they are less likely to become overwhelmed by them.
A gift to us all.
If you’re interested in this Ebook,
take a look by clicking on the “Check it Out!” button below.
It will take you to the Sizzle Bop Store where you can purchase it if you like.
Determine now to have a great holiday.
By thinking ahead, preparing, and loving your kids, no matter what.