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Co-Parenting with Intention: Strategies for Parenting After Divorce
The importance of self-care has never been more evident than it is right now as we all struggle to find our own “new normal” during this COVID-19 crisis. As we look for help from medical professionals who literally stand between life and death, we witness their struggles to stay healthy so they can keep working on the front lines to protect us.

As a divorced parent, there have undoubtedly been many times that you have prioritized your children’s needs -- both physical and emotional -- over your own self-care. You tell yourself it’s what parents do. But as any flight attendant will tell you, you must first make sure your own “mask” is in place before you can help others with theirs.

Here are some steps you can take to become a better co-parent following a divorce:

Conduct a self-assessment.

Make a candid assessment of your own health in three key areas: mental, physical, and financial. Write down what you are doing to address each of these three areas, including things you are NOT doing but should be. 

Assess your children’s mental and physical health. 

In light of all the changes that have happened to your children because of the coronavirus, it can be helpful to focus them on a more certain future after mandated health measures end. Since children may be reluctant to discuss how they are feeling, you will probably need to be persistent in trying to draw them out. One benefit of having them at home is that you can introduce these topics casually while doing other things -- taking a walk, hanging out in the backyard, or making cookies. It is usually in the quiet spaces of doing other things that we find out the most from our children.

Assess your support system

During your divorce, you hopefully had the support of a small army -- family, friends, your attorney, a financial advisor, a therapist, etc. Now that the divorce is over, you still need a good support system to see you through. Identify any holes in your support system that need filling and seek out solutions.

Prioritize your needs.

Once you have identified your top needs, create a list of specific actions you need to take to meet those needs, including a timeline to keep yourself accountable.

Ask for help.

As parents, we do everything possible to meet our children’s needs but when it comes to meeting our own needs, we often fail to ask for the help we need. If you have a need that is going unmet -- whether it’s help for navigating a career change or simply an extra hand around the house -- make the decision to ask for what you need.

Do something for yourself every week.  

Practicing self-care during a pandemic may feel strange, but it is still important to do at least one small thing each week that makes you feel better (or at least in better control). Even something as simple as taking a walk or reconnecting with an old friend can give you what you need to keep on keeping on.
“You never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice.” 

~ Bob Marley
People and Pets
Child Support Modifications
Seeking Sense Part 3: A COVID-19 Co-Parenting Series
Backpack-bound and smiling, my girls pierced the silent serenity of my car talking over each other and fussing over who would sit shotgun as we pulled away from their dad’s house. They were instantly chattering about the topic of the day – the topic now of every day – coronavirus. 

We hit the highlights: How was Susan’s son who lives in New York City? Are grandma and grandpa being safe when they go to the grocery store? Did I hear the annual Okoboji soccer tournament was canceled and Sophia would miss her last year? Has Traci (our ER nurse friend in South Carolina) had any patients die?

The impact in our tiny part of the world seemed so far-reaching in just a few minutes. Quiet descended into the space between us. I glanced over at Sophia in the front seat. Tears were streaming down her face. “Oh my goodness, what’s wrong?” I placed my hand on hers instantly realizing how stupid I sounded. Her big brown eyes looked at me and reached my soul with the pain I saw. I held her hand tight.

Coach's Corner
with Susan Ann Koenig
Finding a Friend in Fauci
Anthony Fauci and I go way back. His name became a household word to me not from his recent appearances as the expert at the daily briefings of the White House Corona Virus. We go back decades.  
 
In the 1980s my brother Tim and his partner John bought a beautiful a two-story Victorian home in Atlanta. Together they ran a small café on Peach Street called Neon Peach. It was the start of the AIDS epidemic, and John was struck with the mysterious virus. 

Who is Koenig|Dunne?
For over 35 years, the Koenig|Dunne team has been helping people pick up the pieces of their life to make a new start. Bringing a family business back from the brink of financial ruin. Sheltering a child from the conflict of a custody battle. We do this work because its work we know matters.

Whether an amicable collaboration or lengthy litigation lies ahead, we’re the team who will empower you on your path to a better future, from start to finish. That’s a promise. We promise you – we will see you, hear you, and stand by you. Learn More
Guidance when you want it. Strength because you need it.
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