This week’s topic: Attachment disorder and the holidays
From the perspective of Dyan Roosma, Treatment mom
Oh holy night, the Easter eggs are cracking, they’re being thrown in a fit of fiery rage…(musical notes around this?) Does this resemble holiday festivities around your house? If so, you’re not alone. Parents of children with attachment disorder have a particularly difficult time during the holidays.
Understand Why Holiday Havoc Happens
What is it about the holidays that bring out the worst in our special population? These are just a few of the reasons behind holiday mass destruction. Once you understand the root of the problem, you can help to defuse the bomb.
Let’s break it down:
Our society goes too far over the top with holidays—Christmas and Easter being the worst of them. Sure, kids in general tend to feel entitled this time of year. Yet, our children become combative and even violent if they don’t get enough “stuff” or what they expect.
All kids feel overloaded with the sights, sounds (and chaos) of holiday parties and family gatherings. But our hyper-vigilant little people feel even more overwhelmed. They have an urgent need to take back control. This often results in a tantrum of epic proportions. Or, they orchestrate some kind of sneaky, behind-the-scenes behavior to create the most chaos possible.
3) Mom issues
Moms work hard to make holidays special for everyone. For a child struggling with attachment issues, mom is the number one target of attack (since she’s the “nurturing enemy”…learn more about this in the video Attachment Disorder in Children and Their Families).
When things go wrong, one little person in the house is usually to blame. That little person is under a lot of pressure during the holidays. That child worries about ruining the event. So in his or her black and white way of thinking, the child decides to ruin the day on his own accord (before it happens by accident)—as control is always the ultimate goal.
Learn How to Diffuse It
Now that you understand why it happens, change your holiday patterns.
Here are a few things I do to prepare for the holidays:
• I have learned to keep holidays low-key for the sake of my sanity and for my children’s sanity!
• I have learned which traditions I could live without. Instead, I work hard to create attachment-friendly traditions in their place.
• I have learned to say no to certain parties and taught my family how to give appropriate gifts.
• I have learned how to laugh and get help from others with my work so my child can’t devalue it.
• And last, but not least, I have learned to keep my child close, so they feel safe and secure.
If you follow all of these steps, you will have perfect holidays…NOT! But they can go a long way to help keep the day running smoothly. Happy Easter!
What are your plans to enjoy spring and its festivities? Leave your comments below.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/8136496@N05/2333330429/”>terren in Virginia</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a>