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Prepping kids for the holiday season | Mind Matters

The holidays can be a lot of fun for kids, but they can also be difficult — especially for those with divorced parents or who have lost a loved one.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — We are just weeks away from Thanksgiving and Christmas. The holidays can be a lot of fun for kids, but they can also be difficult —  especially for those with divorced parents or who have lost a loved one.

In this week's Mind Matters, THV11 is sharing ways to start preparing now.

“I get it,” Madison Scott, a clinical therapist for Behavioral Health Sciences of Arkansas said. “Losing someone around the holiday time, or just coming from a split home myself and feeling like you're being pulled in two different directions can be really tough and bring out a lot of feelings that you're not used to experiencing.”

As a therapist, Scott said she witnesses the holidays' impacts on kids firsthand.

“When the holidays come, they get all excited,” she said. “But then when they think about having to go from one house to another, even splitting the time in half, like one week with one pair, and another week with another pair, a lot of anxiety starts to creep up on them. They start getting anxious, some of them may experience some depression or anger.”

That's where parents and guardians can step in and intervene.

“I think it's important to get a handle on this now," Scott said. "Start the talk now. Have a sit down with your kids. Ask them how they feel about Thanksgiving coming up Christmas coming up, how they feel about mom and dad not being together, how they feel about the loss of somebody,” she said.

She said establishing new traditions can also help create a new normal.

“Your old traditions that you had as one family are now broken, so you need to create new ones,” Scott said. "Let your kids decide. That would be a good project for family, parents with their kids -- Like, what can we do different?”

Depending on the situation, Scott says you may also want to enlist the help of a therapist.