This post concludes the series on choosing a guardian for your child by discussing when you should discuss your decisions with those closest to you. Presumably, you are very familiar with the person you’ve identified to be your child’s guardian. That makes you uniquely qualified to pick the proper time and format for talking to them about your decision.
The person you choose will want to follow your wishes as much as possible so please take the time to communicate them now.
One way to discuss these issues with your family, friends and chosen advisors is to break them down into small discussions. Instead of making time for a 3 hour conversation about the decisions you’ve made perhaps you could start with a talk about why your chosen guardian is important to you and what led you to chose that person for such a crucial role. Then you can have a follow-up conversation to talk about your hopes and wishes for your child which led you to choosing a guardian.
Chances are you will both (all) be uncomfortable and you have no control over other people’s reaction to what you’re going to say. So why not handle the details over which you do have control? You are asking others to listen to the most important decisions you may have to make in your life, so treat them well and lighten the mood a bit. Pick a favorite place (restaurant, park or beach) and have some food and wine (beer) while discussing these difficult topics.
While these subjects are crucial and you want to be able to convey every hope and dream you have for your child in one big meeting, keep in mind that it the subject matter is heavy and uncomfortable. And remember, if the person with whom you’re speaking looks off and says, “look, a school bus,” it may be a good time to schedule another meeting to pick up where this one left off.
photo credit: mars-hill