December can be a stressful month for highly sensitive children. Receiving gifts, a lot of visitors, a different rhythm than usual. There are many fun, but sometimes busy, activities at school. We asked parents: How do you ensure peace of mind? From the responses we have selected these tips to hope for a little peace.
Marianne: “When our girls were little, they had a shoe setting calendar in their shoes that showed exactly when they were allowed to put the shoes on. They were also allowed to choose a few gifts so that they would know approximately what they were getting. At Christmas, we agreed with the families that we would visit one side of the family every year. Until we move on to just one or two addresses.”
Humble Christmas lights
Danielle: “Christmas lights provide many visual stimuli that can cause disruptions. Keep it modest and quiet. Change your home with your child, then it will be easier for them to change. Suddenly the living room looks different for a few weeks, that can be fun, but for kids who are sensitive to stimuli, it can be intense.
Visualize what will happen
Saskia: `Write on the calendar what will happen, and then cross out each day that has passed. This way you can keep an overview which can give kids peace of mind. Sometimes it’s best to draw things that are going to happen. Especially for children who have difficulty reading or children with developmental delays. Then they do not have to make an effort to make the translation in their heads from letters to comprehension. We do that with our son and it helps him.”
Geertje: Bringing clarity to children and visualizing what is going to happen. Above all, make decisions about what to do and what not to do, as well as plan your rest.”
Shaving cream, kinetic sand, and rice play
Jolanda: ”Pay close attention to comfort at home. Play a game together, play with Orbeez, play with shaving cream in the bath, knead with kinetic sand or dig in a bowl of rice to dig through. ”
Take it easy with visitors
Neila: “At Christmas we party one day with other people, and the other day we keep it very quiet. In good weather we take a walk on the beach. We also prefer to celebrate New Year’s Eve at home so that our son can sleep. He himself indicates that he does not want to wake up to watch the fireworks.
Share the real story
Tjitske: Share Sinterklaas’ true story. My children and I have grown up knowing that Sinterklass lived in the past. This is still an exciting time, but with this knowledge there is a little less uncertainty and anxiety. Our youngest is three years old, when she sees Pieten or Sinterklaas they are real, it is difficult for her to understand that he does not exist, which of course is perfectly fine. The eldest is nine, and the hardest thing for her is that she has no bearing on what’s in her shoes once a week.’
Extra trip in the summer
Regine: ‘We had everything at the same time in December: Sinterklaas, Christmas, a birthday and the kids’ party. So we celebrated everything very calmly, briefly and with a little gift. In between we didn’t do anything extra, just play and not watch Sinterklaas news. In the summer we had an extra nice trip with the kids.
Evelyn: ‘Our kids are allowed to put their shoes on three times during the time that Sinterklass is in the country until December 5th. On Christmas Eve we drink hot chocolate, eat gingerbread and listen to Sinterklaas songs. We put the bag with gifts in the room. Everything is structured and goes the same way every year.
unleash – liberate
Anita: `If I notice my daughter’s bucket is about to overflow, I will leave her at home for half a day in consultation with the school. After school she can unwind by lounging in her bean bag in her room and processing everything in her head.
Abandonment of alleged obligations
Joanna: We wear the shoes during the day. We don’t have to. Ditch those so-called obligations and enjoy it in your own bubble.
No secret about gifts
Mareke: “The eldest of us also celebrates his birthday during this period. Not knowing what gifts she will receive caused her a lot of stress. So when she was little, we just told her what gifts she would receive. That period was fun again.”
Clarity about wearing shoes
Kirsten: “Our son loves everything, but at night he processes all the impressions. So we show him when he can put his shoes on, and that’s the only thing that helps us.”
Linda: “Sinterklaas was just a guy who got dressed up from the start. This saved a lot of stress and didn’t detract from the fun. I’ve also found minimal illness reporting from school helpful in the first few years. Get away from the madness. But it should be possible at home.
Celebrate with the ones you love
Eliane: “Our youngest knows his limits very well. For the past two weeks he has been asking regularly about playing rice, which is great. Our six-year-old daughter is finding it a little more difficult to set her own limits. We try to go out as much and enjoy ourselves as possible. We try to spread out the crowds. We don’t We click to watch all the news and go to all the parties Gifts are brought to our house when we haven’t been there for a while and then we celebrate with the people who are our bodies.