23 December 2016

5 ways to keep your child with ADHD calm this festive season

Keeping a child with ADHD calm over Christmas might be difficult, but not impossible.


The festive season is a time of excitement and also disrupted routines. If you have a child with ADHD, you can make life easier for everybody, and prevent a meltdown.

It might just take some patience and some planning (and if your child is on medication, make sure you don’t run out when the pharmacy might be closed).

Read:WATCH: Can coffee cause ADHD?

The Focus MD Clinic gives the following tips:

1. No surprises. Tell your child exactly what social events are being planned, what will happen at them, where they will be, and who will be there. Make sure there is enough time in between them for your child to rest.

2. Role-play receiving gifts. Your child might find this stressful. Give some guidance on what to do if she gets something she doesn’t like, something she likes. Or something she already has.

3. Practise meeting and greeting. Rehearse meeting new people, making eye contact and what to say when. Keep it simple. Stress to the child that she doesn’t have to say much, but practice the basics.

4. Watch what your child eats. You know which foods don’t agree with your child. Keep an eye on what she is eating. If necessary, take some favourite snacks with you if you are going to be in an unfamiliar setting.

5. Stick to routine as far as possible. Many children with ADHD react badly to routines that are disrupted. Try and stick to the familiar schedules as far as you can.

Read more:

ADHD – from Hippocrates to Ritalin

How to manage ADHD these holidays

From 8 to 80! ADHD has no age limit


Ask the Expert

ADHD Expert

Dr. Shabeer Ahmed Jeeva is a specialist psychiatrist who has been practicing child and adult psychiatry for 30 years. He has vast experience in treating ADHD, and is also an ADHD patient himself. Dr. Jeeva trained and practiced in Canada as a child and adult psychiatrist and had lived there for 25 years. He had attended medical school at the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin, Ireland (1970-1976). His professional experience and accreditation includes: Psychiatric residency at the University of Ottawa (Canada), Child Psychiatry fellowship at the University of Ottawa (Canada), Diploma in Psychiatry at the University of Ottawa (Canada), and Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in Canada. Visit his website at:

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