As we embark upon the busy holiday season, some parents out there might already be experiencing a heaviness of heart. Parents who are divorced often have to deal with the drama of determining how family holidays will be spent with children. This can mean a parent has to miss being woken up on Christmas morning by an excited child. Our readers in Texas might appreciate learning some options to handle common holiday issues with child visitation.

How can I help my child this holiday season?

Make the holidays special for your child. Just because the calendar says Christmas Day is the best day to celebrate, you can make the most of your child being with on Christmas Eve or even on the day after Christmas. Start your own traditions. Give your children something to look forward to. The truth is that you and the child’s other parent are likely split for good. Don’t fall into the habit of trying to make everything so picture perfect that you and your child miss the fun and love of the holidays.

Should I just stick to the same routine?

Whether you keep the same routine or not depends on your child. Some children look forward to holidays simply because they are a break from the norm. It is important to try to keep bedtime consistent if possible. Also, don’t try to overschedule when your child is with you. Instead, leave time to just let your child enjoy being a child.

Dealing with the differences in holiday visitation and child custody can be a stressful experience for any parent. It is important, however, to ensure that your child is put first. If you and the child’s other parent can’t work together to determine a holiday schedule that is best for your child, you might need to consider turning to the court system for assistance.

Source: WebMD, “Parenting Tips for the Holidays” Jean Lawrence, Nov. 30, 2014