California Positive Parenting Month - January
January is now officially Positive Parenting Month in California. It seems like we have a month for everything now, but it can be an effective marketing tool to attach a month to a cause for awareness, etc. After all, look at the color pink and October for Breast Cancer awareness and Men’s facial hair for testicular cancer awareness in Mo-vember.
In the end, I think what they stand for though is admirable. We might take it for granted that some children or parents need a reminder from time to time on positive parenting. It’s good to look at a month and try to come up with plans around how to make people think twice before getting into a place that would inhibit the creation of happy, healthy children.
I also would be remiss to say that happiness is a straightforward term. Sometimes kids don’t need to be “happy” in order to be happy - after all, in the middle of a Tantrum, giving in may be the worst thing that a parent can do in order to satisfy the ego of a two year old - their temporary unhappiness in that situation is of course acceptable given that discipline and happiness are NOT mutually exclusive.
But that isn’t necessarily what the program is about. It’s title may sound somewhat progressive and, “wishy washy”, but it is really about providing families with the resources needed to be the best parents / guardians they can be.
Interesting Court Case - Divorced Woman in Arizona Unable to Use Frozen Embryos From Ex-Husband Court Rules
This court case raises a bunch of issues all in one. It’s tragic in all honesty. Being a parent is one of the most fulfilling “contracts” that we can enter into. In this story, a woman and her boyfriend (later who became her husband and then ex-husband), entered into an agreement in response to her need to undergo chemotherapy. They froze her fertilized embryos, but now that they got divorced, the ex husband is saying they need to be donated or go unused.
It’s not that this is entirely cruel…They agreed to these terms when they initially went to the clinic. The tragic part is that they couldn’t come to some sort of agreement. Ultimately, if he doesn’t want to be the father and they agree to “0” responsibility, then she should have that right to have the child, but you can’t guarantee the “0” responsibility. Will the child want to find out who dad was?
In the end though, it does seem cruel. One can’t speak to the whole story without knowing details unexplained in the article, but one’s ability to biologically produce one’s own offspring is also an innate drive in us. To potentially lose that ability because of a technicality just “feels” wrong. But there are likely some other factors in this decision that could also “feel” right.
Either way - if you are entering into this kind of an agreement with a partner, you may want to look at the contract and adjust ahead of time.
A Resolution That Will Last: Getting Your Estate Plan in Order
This article in the Rome Sentinel by James S. Rizzo, talks about the importance of getting one’s estate in order. He clearly calls out some effective steps to getting this done. Essentially it is never too early to start thinking about your estate plan. 79% of millennials don’t have a will. This may not seem like a big issue given the responsibilities of someone who is younger, but that means that children and any other financial elements of their lives are largely left up to courts to decide.
One of the key elements of life is to think through the uncomfortable subjects like death / etc. and plan around them. This is the first and last steps to controlling our lives that we need to take. Once we give up that control we leave many important decisions to courts, strangers or others who we would not want involved. We were made aware of this last year when we learned that custody of our children would be decided by a court in the event of our passing. No thanks. We quickly executed a will and now we can feel good about our estate plan until we need to make an adjustment to cover our third child :)
Read through it. It’s a nice quick read on how to get started in creating your estate plan.