Choosing Your Child's Guardian - Part 2 of 4

Last week week, you worked on making a list of people who we might consider asking to be guardians for your children. This week, we want you to examine what factors are most important to you as a parent to help you narrow your choice.

Step Two:  Decide What Matters Most

Choose a few factors that are most important to you.  Here are some to consider:

  • maturity
  • patience
  • stamina
  • age
  • child-rearing philosophy
  • presence of children in the home already
  • interest in and relationship with your children
  • integrity
  • stability
  • ability to meet the physical demands of child care
  • presence of enough “free” time to raise children
  • religion or spirituality
  • marital or family status
  • potential conflicts of interest with your children
  • willingness to serve
  • social and moral habits and values
  • willingness to adopt your children

Take a look at your list and take time to think about the ones you chose. Why did you choose these characteristics? Are there others that are not listed above that you would like to add? Add them. Obviously, the perfect person to be the guardian of your children would score highly on every measure.  But that is likely not realistic. Because we are all imperfect, you will likely have more success in choosing the few characteristics that are most important to you.  Consider, as you make your choice, that some factors can be influenced by you and others cannot.  Integrity is something you cannot change.  But if having an at-home parent is important to you, your prospective guardian might be willing to come home to raise your child if you make it possible through a well-structured and properly funded estate plan. 

Knowing the answers to these questions can be very helpful as you work through the process of choosing a guardian for your kiddos.

NEXT WEEK: Choosing Your Child's Guardian - Part 3: Match People to Priorities