Thanksgiving Day lets us know the Christmas season is near and along with it, many new experiences for your child. Each special date may bring us joy and some moments of concern for our family.
But there’s no need to worry. The key is choosing carefully the activities in which they will participate. Here are some tips on how to make Thanksgiving a pleasant, enjoyable, and bonding experience for all, especially for your child within the spectrum.
Attend the event early
In case you’re not the host, arriving early to the event will allow your child to adapt faster and easier to the environment. During that time, you can explore the place so you can get familiarized with it. This will make you feel both more calm and confident.
The idea is that your son or daughter feels comfortable in this new space. It is also important that you visualize a quiet place where your child can stay in if he or she starts feeling overwhelmed.
Bring your food if necessary
If your child has problems with certain foods or doesn’t like some textures, carry an additional meal according to his or her taste. You could also tell the host what your child prefers to eat in advance.
Eating what he or she likes will help them cope with any stressful situation they might go through.
Create your own traditions
List all your child’s needs and try to adjust your family traditions according to the things that make him or her feel comfortable. On Thanksgiving, for example, everyone may sit at the table in casual clothes or pajamas so everyone can feel more relaxed.
Remind your child about the good experiences of previous years using photos or videos of the activities you did together. These special memories will help them feel better during this celebration.
Talk to your family about the occasion
Let your family know about your kid’s taste and preferences, so they have them in mind during both the initial activities and the celebration.
For example, if your child likes to play Minecraft, someone that likes it too can play with him or her. From there, they may discover other things they have in common. These details are important for developing social skills.
Teach and encourage positive behaviors
Explain to your child how to behave during Thanksgiving and the rules your family follows on this special day. Walk him or her through the whole process: everyone sits at the table, greet each other with a smile or a hug, and then start to eat.
Try to rehearse the event if possible. This way, your child will know how to act, and you can identify which situations could be particularly stressful. Also, you need to reinforce their good behavior.
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