Beyondpondering's Weblog

Northwest Arkansas Therapy

ADHD and Holidays December 21, 2008

Aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, visitors and guests………..

Sights, sounds, lights, and laughter……

Music and song, fireplaces and snowfall, presents and parties…….

So many activities and high hopes….that this year everything will go without a flaw….

But wait…there’s more….. School is out; fun is in. 

The holidays consist of activities and expectations. Gifts picked out with special care, hoping to convey the right sentiments.

Family comes in, or you go there. Perhaps you have not seen a particular set of relatives for years. You want everyone

on your side of the family, put their best foot forward, have on their best behavior, and be especially courtesy and kind.

 

Different house rules, or perhaps none. Squeals of joy and running here and there. Too much sugar and too much Egg Nog & Rum. Someone can’t stand someone else’s brat, kids. A child breaks another child’s toy. Someone’s child won’t

share. Crying and commotion. The pie burns while you are trying to put out the fires among the children. 

Spitting and spankings. Ho Ho Ho…..MERRY CHRISTMAS.  

 

Parents, in all their good intentions, sometimes shoot themselves in the foot. For many weeks or months, their child has been on ADHD medication. They understand the need to have the child sit in class and learn. They know how distracting school can be. Medication is a necessary evil in their minds. They are willing to put up with it to help their child have a better experience with school. Since school is out for the holidays, indeed, this is the perfect time to let “Little Billy” have a Medication Holiday. 

Think about it for just a moment. Does ADHD take a Holiday? Does ADHD take a vacation? No, it doesn’t. 

The very time when the family harmony is stressed out the most,,,,,

The very time when feelings can be the most sensitive……………

The very time when families need more peace and calm……is the same time parents want Little Billy to be off his meds. Is it helping or hurting family relationships? Is it helping or contributing to family stress?  

You know….The ADHD child already has difficulty feeling good about him or herself; why contribute to their negative feelings by purposefully pulling them off their meds at the very time it is needed the most? Allow positive family relationships to develop. Allow Little Billy to gain warm feelings about himself in relationship to their close relationships. Do you want to help or hinder family harmony during the holidays? ADHD does not take a holiday. The risk of a child having negative behaviors in the long term is related to how they feel about themselves; today. An ADHD child can be frustrating. Yet try to imagine how frustrated he is with himself. Try to imagine how the child feels when he gets critisized; punished; or consequenced for what he has little control over. Does the risk of medication outweigh the seriousness of long-term side effects of poor self-esteem or negative self-image?

ADHD does not take Holidays.