I can't believe that Halloween has actually come and gone already. Where has the time gone???
My little guy wanted to dress up as Jake from Jake and the Neverland Pirates. However, that particular costume cost $10 more than the generic pirate costume from Target. So I just told my kiddo that he was Jake and dressed him as a regular old pirate. He was comfortable, I was $10 richer and everyone was happy. Win-win all around.
Halloween's a tough holiday for a child with ADHD. The sugar and dye from the candy makes my son SO incredibly hyper. Plus the sights, sounds and flashing lights of the night totally sends him into sensory overload and he tends to start melting down. Plus, ADHD kids thrive on routine and this was a night that took us WAY off our normal routine. It can kinda be a recipe for disaster if you're not careful.
I discovered a couple of tips and tricks for a positive Halloween experience and I will share them with you here:
- Start earlier, not later. My son really needs his sleep and if he gets to bed too late, it's ugly for him (and everyone else around him) the next day. So for that reason, we started trick or treating by 5:15 so we could be done on the early side. We were done by 7:15 and home in bed by 8:30.
- If you sense your child is becoming overwhelmed, make that your cue to leave. My son started to melt down and at first I tried to pull him aside into an impromptu time out to calm him down. Yeah that didn't really work. There was way too much loud activity going on around us. When the whole trick or treating experience started to not be fun for him or me anymore, then we left and went home. It was a bummer because my friends and their kids were still out and about and I personally was having fun. But if your kid's miserable, you will soon be miserable as well. Sometimes you just have to recognize your child's limitations and accept that. I give him credit because he did last for two hours but when he was done...he was done.
- Take advantage of the Switch Witch. I want my son to have the fun experience of trick or treating but I do not want him eating 10 lbs. of candy afterwards. The processed sugar and the artificial dye makes him go absolutely bonkers. And not in a good way. So we had a visit from the Switch Witch and that solved all our problems. The way the Switch Witch works is, your child leaves all their candy at the foot of their bed and overnight while they sleep, the Switch Witch comes in and switches your candy out for a requested toy. In our case, we got an Angry Birds Star Wars Jenga Tie Fighter game. My son LOVES it and he's not running around insane, making me want to scream. Once again, win-win for everyone.
Even though we got home by 7:30 on Halloween night, my son was so incredibly over-stimulated that he was awake until 10pm that night. The next day was Friday and he managed to make it through the school day okay but by the time Saturday rolled around, he was pretty exhausted. So we've had a pretty low key weekend. Lots of napping. But hey at least we'll both be relaxed and well rested for the week ahead now.