Prepare Your Children For Gatherings: Eliminate unnecessary anxiety associated with family gatherings. Look through photos of relatives the day before your event. Play memory games matching names to faces. This will help your children feel more comfortable with people they may not have seen in a while. Aunt Mary won’t seem quite so scary when she bends down to greet your child.
Write Things Down: Getting the constant chatter and lists out of your head decreases stress and anxiety. Kids love making lists. Give them a clip board or dry erase board. Assign them each a list. This will help you relax and help your children feel involved. Make sure they write “take a deep breath” and “laugh” somewhere on your list.
Incorporate Affirmations/Positive Statements Into Your Thanksgiving Dinner: This is empowering and reflective. Have each person at the table can state an attribute of their own that they are thankful for. For example, “I am thankful that I am creative.” Feeling stressed? Try, “I am thankful that I am calm.” Your special needs child can prepare ahead with a drawing or sign language if they want to participate without speaking.