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Preparing children for a much different holiday season

While the decorations may look the same this year, this Christmas will be like no other.

While the decorations may look the same this year, this Christmas will be like no other.  

"Wanting to be with your family, wanting to have a large Christmas dinner with family and friends over — right now that just should not be done," said NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci.

This has many parents worried.

"We're seeing an increase in referrals for behavioral health services across the country for children," said Dr. Parker Huston, a psychologist with Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Officials said that 62 percent of parents believe the holidays will be difficult on their child's mental health, according to a new study by Nationwide Children's Hospital.

Many area counties are increasingly reinstating pandemic restrictions.

"Maybe they felt for a while that ‘I'm going back to school a little more now, and things are getting a little more relaxed, and numbers seem to be going down in my area,’” Dr. Huston said. “And now all of a sudden, to be reversing that trend."

Dr. Huston says right now parents need to talk to their children and explain how the holidays will look different this year. He says to focus on others who are also missing their family and friends.

"Brighten their day through delivering something to them, making a card,” he said. “It's a good time to take stock of that as a family, and to help your children realize how we can show gratitude and kindness to other people."

Dr. Huston says prioritizing physical and mental health is key during these unprecedented times.

For more child mental health resources click here.

This story was originally reported by WSMV.

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