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Mom Minute Monday: How to talk to your kids about holiday celebrations being different due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Not being able to have big gatherings this year can be a hard thing for children to understand.

CLEVELAND — So much of our holiday traditions are rooted in being together with family and friends. 

In today's Mom Minute Monday, 3News’ Hollie Strano talked to "Chief Habit Scientist" Tamsin Astor, PhD, who has great advice on how to talk to your children about the holidays and still make them feel special.

“Holidays are coming up. You want to talk about elevating stress, and especially with the pandemic and it being different, what are your suggestions,” Hollie asked.

“I think that one of the best things that we have is modern technology,” says Dr. Astor.

Even though looking through a Zoom screen at your family members isn’t the same as seeing them in person, being connected – even virtually – is important.

“It’s not the same as hugging your aunt or your uncle or your grandparent, but making sure that you make time for that and having that kind of connection, having that communication is what’s key.”

Dr. Astor also says, mixing technology with other traditions can help make it special.

“The other thing that I've done with my kids is move back into that space of, ‘Hey, let's send cards and presents.’”

Dr. Astor’s family lives in Europe and she hasn’t been able to see them in almost a year.

“I love that we can all WhatsApp, but we also have been sending each other tangible gifts.”

Dr. Astor says, it’s OK to allow your children to see you feeling sadness and confusion.

“It's OK not to feel perfect all the time,” says Dr. Astor.

“I think one of the biggest things is just to give yourself grace. Remember that it's more about the people and the connections and the experience, the emotions than it is about, you know, the big thing, the perfect meal, the amazing table.”

For more advice from Dr. Astor, you can read her book, Force of Habit: Unleash Your Power by Developing Great Habits.

Check out her website here.

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