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Deb Chernick's Comments

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Marriage Rate In America Drops Drastically

Marriage Rate In America Drops Drastically

Commented Dec 14, 2011 at 15:17:27 in Weddings

“Regarding the issue of “commit and get married,” it is sometimes easier said then done. Given the lack of marriage equality in many states, certain couples, although loving and committed, are in fact barred from marriage. They may refer to themselves as domestic partners or partners but not wives/husbands. As for the more traditional couples, there are many couples in loving and monogamous relationships where, for a variety of reasons, marriage is impractical or not encouraged. One only has to look at the rules and regulations regarding FAFSA for college loans, social security issues or pension rights to understand that marriage is not always a smart option. These couples might call themselves spousal equivalents, significant others, or better half, but in reality, they fulfill the needs of a spouse without walking down the proverbial aisle. The website suggests one word: Para-spouse for all couples. The Para-kin goal is to work towards a legal status for a P-spouse to provide for end of life decision making powers, medical decision making powers, rights of inheritance, retirement and the like.”
huffingtonpost entry

On Second Thought, Don't Get Married

Commented Jul 6, 2011 at 22:44:24 in Divorce

huffingtonpost entry

On Second Thought, Don't Get Married

Commented Jul 6, 2011 at 10:45:25 in Divorce

“Given today's state on the institution of marriage, who is and is not a member of our family is a question in flux. There are a great number of adults living in loving and monogamous relationships, raising children together, without taking the proverbial walk down the aisle. We don't have, however, the words in English for the relationship between this parent and the non-biological child. Since the "step" relationship only arises upon marriage, how can we identify our kin. The answer may lie in which suggests terms to embrace this new blended family. What Para-kin does initially, is give identification to this whole group of families. It gives a word, and a word with a meaning, to our relationships. Right now, we use so many words to describe the adult couple, be it partner, domestic partner, life partner, significant other, spousal equivalent, better half, etc. Why not just call it like it is.. We are all Para-spouses. We are fulfilling needs, responsibilities and obligations for each other as a spouse does.

So if P-spouse becomes an identifiable term, it may be that Para-mom (P-mom), Para-dad (P-dad), P-son, P-daughter will follow. With the recognition of the words, we give identity to all these wonderful families who are struggling to explain who they are. Take a look at P-wife or P-hubby. These words may just work for your family.”

Tykster on Jul 6, 2011 at 12:47:22

“Then on his birthday, you could give P-dad an iPad !”
From Single Girl to Step-Mom

From Single Girl to Step-Mom

Commented Feb 28, 2011 at 14:01:17 in Divorce

“Words are powerful and unfortunately the word "stepmother” conjures up a somewhat negative image. For many stepmoms, it's a daily battle. So here's a thought.

Families are adopting a new term, Para-mom. “Para” means to support, be next to, on the side of, much like a para-legal or para-medic in the professional world. Would using an alternative term such as Para-mom (P-mom) eliminate some of the battle? Maybe. By negating the “evil” connotation and having children concentrate on the loving component, perhaps there would be one less issue.

Let's face it. When a partner marries someone with children, there are no choices. It’s a given that one loves the new spouse, but it’s an expectation that love extends to the children. One becomes a stepparent for better or worse. When stepmom hits a brick wall communicating with the child, or is perceived as “mean” or “unloving”, the negative “step” image is the fallback position.

Para-kin terms are about choice. One can choose to call herself/himself a P-mom or P-dad and choose to embrace that child as a P-son or P-daughter. Should difficulties arise, the words “mean” and “evil” may not be the fall back position, because that person is not known as a stepparent initially. The child may decide that Para-mom “doesn’t get it” but the “evil” image might not enter the child’s mind.

Para-kin terms carry no baggage. For more information, check out”