Couples planning to blend families often have to make financial arrangements that respect previous relationships with ex-spouses and their families. Issues range from childcare and eldercare to potentially complex matters. That's why involving trained experts in stepfamily financial planning is a must.
This will be the first September I won't have any children starting school since 1992. The memory of dropping off my daughter for her first day of pre-school, my 3 month old baby boy in my arms, is so vivid. Everything in my life was brand new -- my children, my home, my marriage, my minivan, my friends. There was so much to wonder about and plan for the future.
I look at my daughter's face and see barely a whisper of the little girl who once reached for me with chubby hands and a baby toothed grin -- her nails are manicured, her teeth are straight and white. Her face is now all cheekbones and eyeliner. The slumped, awkward adolescent has become a tall, confident adult who moves easily in the world without me.
My daughter is in Israel on Birthright this week, along with 3,500 other Jewish kids who thought it would be cool to get a free 10-day trip to a place where you can ride camels and swim in the Mediterranean Sea. They didn't plan to be the target of more than 400 Hamas-fired missiles, or to experience their first air raid sirens, or to run from the pool at their kibbutz hotel to a nearby bomb shelter as white contrails streaked the sky.
You've heard the critiques of so-called "helicopter parents" who can't stay away from their kids, smothering them with so much love and attention that they never develop self-reliance. Narcissistic, dependent, and unable to strike out on their own, your over-loved children expect everyone to wait on them hand and foot.