Setting off on a journey or planning an evening out without the kids can be a thrilling yet nerve-wracking experience. Proper preparation can ease your mind and ensure your children are safe and comfortable. Here are five detailed tips for when you have to leave your little ones behind:
1. Have Necessary Documents in Place
- Guardian Nomination: This legal document allows you to designate a trusted individual to take care of your children temporarily. Consider including a temporary local guardian, especially if your permanent guardian lives far away. This ensures someone nearby can care for your children immediately. If you would like a free Guardian Nomination form that you can use, click on the button below.
- Medical Authorization: An absolute must-have. This document grants permission for medical care in your absence. It should detail any allergies, chronic conditions, medications, and preferred physicians. It’s also wise to have a copy with your child’s caretaker and another at their school or daycare.
- Estate Planning Documents: Finally, don’t leave home without knowing that you have a comprehensive estate plan in place. You can find the documents you should have in this blog post.
2. Leave Detailed Instructions
- Daily Routine: Outline a typical day for clarity, from wake-up times to bedtimes. Mention meal preferences, nap times, and any other daily necessities.
- Contact Information: List emergency contacts, including neighbors, close friends, and family members. Make sure to include their addresses, phone numbers, and relation to the child. This information is included on our free babysitter checklist.
- Special Needs: Note any specific requirements or routines, especially for children with unique health or behavioral needs.
3. Plan for Emergencies
- First Aid: Ensure the caretaker knows where the first aid kit is and how to use its contents. It might be helpful to run through a few common scenarios, like treating a cut or scrape.
- Emergency Numbers: Apart from 911, list numbers for the nearest hospital, your family doctor, and perhaps a trusted neighbor.
- Evacuation Plan: In case of an unforeseen event, like a fire, ensure your children and their caretaker know the safest and quickest way out of the house.
4. Keep Them Occupied
- Activity Schedule: Plan a set of activities for each day. It could be art and craft one day, a movie marathon the next, and perhaps a day at the local park or library.
- Board Games & Puzzles: Leave out a few favorites. They’re great for brain development and can be a fun group activity.
- Reading Time: Especially for older kids, encourage them to delve into a good book. Leave out a couple of recommended reads.
5. Check-In Regularly
- Video Calls: With modern technology, it’s easy to drop in for a quick virtual “hello.” It’s reassuring for both you and your children.
- Text Updates: Ask your caretaker for periodic updates or photos, so you know your kids are happy and busy.
Remember, preparation is key. With these steps in place, you can ensure that you, your children, and their caretakers are all set for a positive experience. Safe travels and happy parenting!
If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of a comprehensive estate plan, which can include a Guardian Nomination in addition to Revocable Living Trust, Will, Financial Power of Attorney, Advance Health Care Directive and other important documents, text or call Thatcher | Law, APC to schedule a consultation.