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Parent Guide to Surviving the Holidays

Washington, CT

Devereux Glenholme Articles
Holiday Carolers
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Students enjoy being active during vacations. Carolling at a nursing home is ideal for the holidays.
Holiday Preparations
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Holiday preparation is essential to successful family gatherings.
Washington, CT - At Glenholme, we place a heavy emphasis on parent education and the Parent Seminar Series provides the same training for parents on the curriculum and other behavioral training techniques that are provided to staff with the goal to increase the consistency between the school and home. Parents who attend the seminars and apply the techniques often report a benefit from the experience.

The December 3rd seminar featured the Parent Guide to Surviving the Holidays. Efforts focused on scheduling time, vacation activities, and family gatherings. Parents shared difficulties they have experienced during the holidays with their children. Most agreed that scheduling time and getting their child to participate with family were the primary issues they encountered.

Social workers Deborah Cronin and Marc Bonaguide provided tips on preparing one's child for the social aspects of the holiday season, particularly visiting with relatives.  Steps were outlined for preparing one's child for family gatherings by setting social expectations, reviewing the schedule of events including the length of the visit, and then coaching the child on initiating and maintaining conversations of mutual interest including their child’s school experiences.

Structuring time at home was also discussed.  Parents were instructed in the creation and use of a schedule, creating a menu of appropriate "free time" choices for their child and finding community service opportunities for either the family together, or for the child individually.

A number of hand outs were provided, including teaching tools for social skills such as "Introducing Yourself" and "Talking with Others," community service ideas and web sites for information, ideas for individual and family activities, and a sample schedule. If you were unable to attend the seminar, but would like copies of these materials, please contact your social worker.

Parents shared ideas about what works for them and many embraced the benefits of community service opportunities, as well as the schedule as a tool for increasing structure at home. Places to locate community activities information include your town hall, parks and recreation offices, newspaper bulletins and brochures and local youth services offices. Parents also encouraged each other to call the school for support when needed.

The Parent Seminars are opportunities to share your experiences and gather valuable information. We look forward to seeing you at the next seminar on Friday January 14 at 2:30 pm. Contact Jenna Hutchins at jhutchin@devereux.org to confirm your attendance.

Whipple Hill contains Parenting Tips to assist with holiday planning.
Parenting Tip #5: Vacation Ideas
Parenting Tip #2: Planning a successful visit with your child
Parenting Tip #7: Getting the most out of the Parent Point Program

The Glenholme School, a Devereux Center, is an exceptional boarding school for students with special needs, which offers an individually prescribed learning environment with a steadfast academic curriculum. Using our effective individualized services, we apply a positive behavior support model focused on development of social skills and lifelong strategies for success. The school’s milieu therapy addresses varying levels of academic, social and special needs development in boys and girls ages 10-18 and postgraduates. We prepare graduates for continued education in traditional day schools, boarding schools, colleges and universities. For more information about The Glenholme School and its program, visit http://www.theglenholmeschool.org/.
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