ADHD: Helping Your Kid Through The Holidays

Date: 06/30/2023

Title: How can I help my son with ADHD get through the holidays?

00:00:00 Speaker 1
It's. So your middle school son with ADHD really struggle to handle the Thanksgiving break.
How do you help him get ready for winter break? Well, we're going to talk about that today on tips
on teens. My name is Kent Toussaint. I'm a licensed marriage and family therapist and I specialize
in helping kids, teens, and families live happier lives. I lead two organizations teen Therapy
Center and the nonprofit 501 c three organization, child and Teen Counseling, both here in
Woodland Hills, California. Every Wednesday at noon, I jump onto Facebook Live to answer your
parenting questions. Let's answer today's. My son is twelve and was diagnosed with ADHD a few
years back. We've noticed that he really seems to get triggered around the holidays. We're
not really sure why. It was really hard to get through our family gatherings. It only approved
once school started again and we were able to get back into our normal rhythm. Any ideas what
I can do to help him out this year? Thank you for your question.

00:01:06 Speaker 1
There can be so many different reasons why your son struggled with Thanksgiving break. I'm
going to go over a few. It's not an exhaustive list. Number one, if he's ADHD, the first thing
I think of is, is he taking any prescribed medication for his intention issues? And if he is,
did you stop them during break because he wasn't doing homework? And if so, does that cause a
reaction? This is something you should be consulting with the prescribing physician on, because
that's the person who's prescribing the medication. He's or she is the person who handles the
medication. I'm not a medical doctor, so I encourage you to talk to your medical professional
on that. Secondly, if your son has been prescribed medication for a while, has he been reassessed
lately for proper dosage? Or does he need to switch up in his medication? Because sometimes
kids can develop a resistance or a tolerance to some medications and may need to change from
time to time again. This is something you should be talking

00:02:04 Speaker 1
to your prescribing doctor about. Whole other areas of concern. When he's out of school, is
he bored and has nothing to do because he's used to being in school and used to that rhythm, used
to the routine. Now he's not the routine. He's kind of upset or maybe school distracts him from
being really upset. The really deep down depression or anxiety he may be struggling with. And
now that he doesn't have that distraction, is he struggling even more? Other issues are. I had
a couple more in my top of my head. Of course, as soon as I get on Facebook, they flitter away. But
there's any number of reasons why your son may be struggling. Oh, it could be. Other thing is
there something about the holidays that really trigger him. Either there's something reminds
him of a past trauma, a death of a close loved one, something like that? Or is there the expectation
when you have family gatherings, they have to sit there on the couch and talk like an adult? When
he's a twelve year old with ADHD and he

00:03:04 Speaker 1
wants to run around all the time, and are there expectations on him to act like a little adult
when he is not? And so what I encourage you to do is try to talk to him about what is his perception,
how did he see the whole Thanksgiving event with family gatherings and whatnot, what is he dreading
and looking forward to with the oncoming winter break. You guys can collaborate and find where
you guys can find middle ground. And maybe he doesn't get to do everything he wants, but maybe
he gets to a little more of what it wants. Maybe you start realizing that some of your expectations
of him acting polite and responsible and kind all the time may be too much for his twelve year
old brain. And he needs to be out in the backyard and shooting hoops and doing whatever. Of course,
screens, video games, play a big portion of this as well, which is a whole other talk. I can talk
for an hour about that, but obviously we don't have time for that here. But I think it's really
important that you collaborate

00:04:01 Speaker 1
with your son on what his expectations are. Measure them by your expectations and find some
middle ground so you can have an enjoyable but not perfect winter break. And again, not perfect
because it's never going to be perfect. Your kid's never going to be perfect. You're never going
to be perfect. And we have to learn to accept some imperfection in our lives and hopefully we
survive them so later on, we can look back at those imperfections and laugh and laugh about those
fun, fun filled winter breaks. Anyways, that's your question for today. Thank you for your
question. If you'd like me to answer your question, feel free to email us at tips on
Again, my name is Kent Toussaint with Teen Therapy Center and the nonprofit Child Need Counseling,
and we look forward to seeing you next week. Thanks guys. Bye.

ADHD and The Holidays

Winter break can be a huge challenge for kids with ADHD. The structure and routine that going to school provides is really helpful for some. When that goes away, the potential of  boredom and lack of “distraction” can be really triggering. As the holidays approach it’s a good idea to talk to your kid and find out what they might be looking forward to or dreading about the holidays. If you’re expecting them to act like “little adults” at holiday gatherings, and not taking into consideration the other challenges that winter break might pose for them, then you’re probably asking too much. There are other things to consider when getting ready to help your kid with ADHD through the holidays, and we help you prepare in this Tips on Teens:

“My son is 12 and was diagnosed with ADHD a few years back. We’ve noticed that he really seems to get triggered around the holidays. We’re not really sure why. It was really hard to get through our family gatherings. It only improved once school started again and we were able to get back into our normal rhythm. Any ideas what I can do to help him out this year?”

Clinical Director Kent Toussaint answers your parenting questions every Wednesday at 12:00pm in our weekly segment Tips On Teens on Facebook Live. Have questions about parenting kids and teens? Send them to: We love to hear from you!

Head on over to our Facebook page every Wednesday at 12:00pm to watch LIVE!  Check out our page here –

If you have more questions or would like more information, please contact our Clinical Director, Kent Toussaint at 818.697.8555.