Thoughtful Parenting: Do you have a plan? |

Thoughtful Parenting: Do you have a plan?

Thoughtful Parenting First Impressions

If you go

What: Power to the Parents: Active Parenting Workshop Series

When: noon to 1 p.m. Oct. 13

Where: Routt County Courthouse Annex, Trout Creek Conference Room, 136 Sixth St.

Cost: Free

RSVP: 970-870-5270, smartin@co.routt....

Have you taken the time to make an emergency plan for your children? Perhaps you thought about it often when they were young, and everything was new and you were full of worry, but now that they have grown a little and nothing too bad has happened, you’ve let it slip away.

Perhaps lately, “in case of emergency” means texting your babysitter your sister’s phone number after you’ve gone out for the evening, just in case.

When it comes to parenting, we can get caught up in different philosophies.

We hear about Mindful Parenting, keeping awareness and presence with our children at all times.

We hear about Slow Parenting, in which we are supposed to step back and let our children live without schedules and commitments, allowing them develop a life at their own pace.

On Oct. 13, I will present a First Impressions series about active parenting, which suggests stepping up for your kids, taking action and helping them achieve their goals. Taking care of your kids comes at all different paces — but what if you weren’t there to take care of them?

Have you set up a will or a trust? Is your plan current and updated within the past couple of years? Was it created in Colorado?

If you have a formal plan, does it name your preference of permanent guardian for your children? Does it name temporary guardians if your permanent guardian won’t always be able to get there within 20 minutes? Does it include medical forms for your children, such as health care power of attorney, in the event that both you and your child were in a common accident and unable to speak for yourselves? Does it include HIPAA authorizations for the important people in your child’s life, so they can call the hospital and find out if your kids are there and how they are doing, if necessary? Does it also take into consideration that not all accidents happen at home, and you might be in Utah or Wyoming when you require medical attention? Does it include 24-hour accessibility to these documents from anywhere in the world?

Beyond these immediate concerns, does your plan for your children consider the values with which you would like them to be raised? Does it leave detailed instructions for potential guardians about your thoughts on parenting? Does it include a letter or video, with your own voice telling your children you love them?

If your plan is incomplete, or if you have not yet had the time to create one, have lunch with us Oct. 13 at the Routt County Courthouse Annex and learn more about the actions you can take today.

With a little forethought and time up front, you can make a solid plan that works and covers all the bases.

Catherine Swan is a local mother and attorney who focuses on comprehensive estate planning. Visit to learn more and download her free report: “7 Priceless Tips for Parents to Protect Your Kids.”

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