While no one likes to think about the possibility that they will not be around to raise their own children, it’s important to plan for the just in case situation. Through estate planning and creating your will, you can choose a guardian to raise your children, should the worst case occur. You will obviously be very thoughtful in this decision, making sure that you choose someone you trust and will raise your kids as you would want them to be raised, but there is another step you can take to have peace of mind and ensure they know exactly what you would like – write a parenting plan. This plan, while not a legal document, can offer some assistance to the chosen guardians regarding their new role with your children.
What to Include in a Wheat Ridge Parenting Plan for Guardians
Usually, when choosing a guardian for your child, you will choose someone whose moral, educational, and spiritual principles align with your own. But, it doesn’t hurt to be specific in discussing the ways you hope your children will be raised if you are no longer present. Here are some issues you may want to include in a parenting plan for your children’s chosen guardians:
- Parenting techniques that worked well for your kids and those that have not.
- How you have handled difficult situations – give examples and be specific.
- Ideas around big milestones and major issues for kids like dating, driving, issues at school, fighting, drugs/ alcohol use, etc.
- What about your chosen guardians made you choose them?
- Important values and lifestyle choices that you hope are instilled in your children. What steps have you taken to help guide your children to have these values and how you hope the guardian will do the same.Family traditions and rituals that are important to you that you would like continued.
- Information about your children – dietary restrictions, special needs, educational issues, religious preferences, etc.
While this is not an exhaustive list, it’s a great starting point and hits on some major topics you will likely want to address. Some people feel that this type of document feels like an intrusion or shows a lack of trust, but it actually gives some solace to guardians, knowing that they have your continued guidance. Once the document is complete, you can keep a copy with your will and other estate planning documentation, so it gets into the right hands if the time ever comes.