This year the holiday season is going to look different. Since families won’t be traveling to visit one another, it might feel lonelier than past holidays. It might be particularly challenging for some children. Children have dealt with a lot of change this past year and learning they will not be able to see Grandma and Grandpa might be a little hard for them to hear.
Kids are quite resilient, but the changes they face resulting from the coronavirus still affects them. Have a conversation with them ahead of time and acknowledge that there will be changes this year will help them adjust better. Expect your child might feel sad or upset and tell them that’s okay. Listen to their feelings and give them the space to talk. This can often help them to move past their emotional experience.
Remind children that the festive holiday spirit is still alive. Invite them to think of ways they want to celebrate. Kids are creative and often want to help. Ask them what traditions they want to keep and what traditions they want to start. Who knows, you might start new traditions that last well beyond the pandemic. It can be helpful to keep things in perspective, too. Talk about what you and your family are grateful for and remind them that physically staying away from their loved ones is helping to keep everyone safe this holiday season.
Christine Holmberg, LMFT