The ADHD Smarter Parenting‘s Podcast

Ep #164: Avoid holiday meltdowns using Role-play

December 1, 2021

Many children struggle with managing expectations and emotions during the holidays. The behavior skill of Role-play teaches children what is expected in various situations--from holiday shopping to parties. Knowing how they can appropriately respond when they are overwhelmed or excited can go a long way in reducing the meltdowns or craziness they may feel.

The holidays can be a truly magical time for children. That magic, though, can bring new stress or unmet expectations that can be challenging for a child to manage if they haven't been taught what to do instead. For example, if you don't want your child to touch every toy they see at the store, they will need to know what to do instead. They may need to keep their hands on the cart or stop quietly in front of one toy to get a better look as long as they don't pick it up or touch it, but they won't know what to do if you don't practice it with them before you go to the store.

Role-playing allows a parent to address any concerns before they arise. Addressing potential issues while your child is calm and receptive gives them the tools needed to display the appropriate behavior in that specific situation. 

Once a child is overwhelmed or too excited, it can be hard to bring them to a calm state. Role-playing keeps a child from escalating too much. 

Role-playing will reduce your stress and increase your enjoyment of the season. 

You can learn more about how to Role-play with your child by watching a short video lesson at

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