If spring break is bearing down on you, you might be thinking 5 more days of school and…THEN WHAT. Perhaps you are worried about the vacation to the beach you have planned with your family, or about the “staycation” you are planning. You and your child might even be using the week off to try some new therapies, or have a medical procedure that requires too much time off from school. Well I am here to tell you all of the above scenarios can be completed seamlessly, yes seamlessly, without meltdowns and tantrums using only a few simple tricks.
Trick number 1
Start talking to them about it NOW. Waiting until the weekend of the big trip does not allow your child enough time to process the information you are giving them.
Trick number 2
Peace comes in the details. If you are prepared, they will be prepared. Make sure you have thought through all of the activities you have planned and that you are taking or have access to all the necessary equipment. You have the ability to stop most anxiety outbursts by planning ahead and sharing the details with your child.
Trick number 3
A calendar can be your best friend. Use a weekly calendar with pictures to show your child what to expect each day. A calendar can also help them count down the days until they can return to school and see their friends.
Trick number 4
A stopwatch or a visual timer will help to make foreign transitions easier. There are a variety of timers that a can be downloaded onto almost any smart phone to help with transitions. ( I recommend Time Timer) Often on vacation, you are doing things that highly preferred and are followed by a non preferred activity. i.e. play in the ocean, then shower. A portable timer will help your child anticipate transitions and cut down on meltdowns.
A vacation is meant to be just that, a break from all the stresses of daily routines and structure. You only need to take a few tools from your daily life to make your vacation life fun and relaxing for everyone.
I have provided a social story to read with your child to prepare them. You can download it in PDF format by clicking here.