Atlanta Divorce Law Group - May 2020

RITES OF PASSAGE ACKNOWLEDGE WHAT’S MISSING THIS MAY

May 2020

May is full of educational milestones. It’s the end of the school year, and a lot is happening for parents and students. There are finals, parent-teacher meetings, end-of- year parties, and perhaps most importantly, graduations. At least, this is how the month of May usually goes. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these year-end traditions have been canceled for most students across the country. As a parent, it feels so strange not to have these school events with my children. My son’s elementary school always does a big outdoor party on the last day of school. Meanwhile, my daughter is in preschool, and they were supposed to have a graduation ceremony for the kids. Neither of these events will be taking place now. As devastating as this is for my family, I can only imagine how hard things are for families whose children are graduating from high school or college. Graduation ceremonies are cherished rites of passage for students moving into adulthood, especially graduating from high school. The high school experience only lasts four years, but it’s such an important part of the culture of the United States. In my family, graduations are as important as weddings. Getting to walk across that stage in a cap and gown is a celebration of all the hard work that went into reaching that milestone. In many ways, this celebration is for the parents and the students alike. Though students are still graduating from school, my heart goes out to the families who don’t get to experience the joy of the commencement ceremony due to the pandemic. In difficult times, it’s important to be resilient and learn how to navigate a new normal. This is something we see so much during the divorce process. That said, it is important to acknowledge what we have lost and give ourselves permission to grieve that loss. High school and college seniors have had something important stripped away from them. Though these experiences are small in the grand scheme of life, they are experiences that matter. It’s okay for students to feel sad about what they’ve lost.

Likewise, it’s okay for parents to feel grief over not being able to experience these rites of passage with their children. Any opportunity you have as a parent to see your child dress up, have their name called on stage, and be celebrated for their accomplishments is something to look forward to. Having that taken away hurts. It’s good to be resilient and see the silver lining, but that doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to feel grief over what you have lost.

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In order to give your child permission to feel upset about what they’ve lost, parents need to set the example of being vulnerable ourselves. Let your kids know that missing out on these year-end events hurts. We will not dwell on the loss forever and refuse to move forward, but it’s perfectly okay to take a minute and take inventory of your feelings. Take inventory of the fact that this situation can make you mad or upset. Acknowledge the experience you or your child are having right now. This is the only way we’ll truly be able to move forward and look ahead to the next rite of passage your family will experience together. “It’s good to be resilient and see the silver lining, but that doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to feel grief over what you have lost.”

–Sara Khaki

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GRIEF, CHILD CUSTODY, AND DIVORCE DON’T MISS OUR COMPLIMENTARY WEBINARS!

CHILD CUSTODY BOOTCAMP (COMPLIMENTARY WEBINAR) When: Tuesday, May 19; 7 p.m. Register: AtlantaDivorceLawGroup.com/ seminars/child-custody-bootcamp

Our complimentary Divorce Support Groups and seminars are going online! Register for these upcoming webinars to gain knowledge, resources, and emotional support that can help you feel empowered during and after the divorce process.

HOW GRIEF PLAYS INTO A DIVORCE (SUPPORT GROUP WEBINAR) When: Saturday, May 16; 10–11 a.m. Register: AtlantaDivorceLawGroup.com/ may-16-2020-support-group

Child custody is one of the most challenging, painful aspects of the divorce process. The idea of not having custody of your children can be a terrifying prospect for parents. Don’t let fear dictate your decisions. Register for this webinar to learn about different types of custody and how courts decide custody. During the webinar, we will also discuss the importance of protecting children from parental conflict, different types of custody schedules, and the do’s and don’ts of navigating child custody during divorce. We are dedicated to providing valuable information to our clients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Register for these webinars today to gain this information from the comfort and safety of your home.

This month’s Happily Ever After Divorce Support Group will focus on the role grief plays in a divorce. Grief and the grieving process is a complicated experience, unique to each individual and situation. Licensed marriage and family therapist Kathleen Shack, M.S., will be hosting this support group and leading conversations to help those who are grappling with grief during and after their divorce. Register today to get access to this event and our library of webinar videos.

GIVE YOUR KID THE GIFT OF A GREEN THUMB HEALTH BENEFITS OF FAMILY GARDENING

Springtime often means nicer weather and more time spent outside, but it also means it’s gardening season. That means it’s time to roll up your sleeves and play in the dirt. If you’ve been searching for a way to get the kids away from technology and engaged with the real world, gardening is the perfect activity for the whole family to enjoy. Not only is it fun, but it’s also beneficial for your kids’ development. For example, gardening can improve your children’s analytical abilities. As Dr. Wendy Matthews says, “Gardening exercises important reasoning, initiation, planning, and organization skills.” Furthermore, several studies, including one at Texas A&M University, suggest that gardening improves a child’s attitude toward fruits and vegetables and may make them more likely to choose them as snacks. Gardening helps kids identify with where their food is coming from, and nothing tastes better than a freshly picked strawberry or pea pod they grew themselves.

Rob Knight, emphasize the health benefits of garden time in their book, “Dirt Is Good: The Advantage of Germs for Your Child’s Developing Immune System.” The two found that exposure to different microbes, like those found in a garden, strengthens a child’s immune system and makes them less likely to develop allergies. If this is your first time gardening, you don’t need much to get started. Grab a few shovels, a pair of gloves for each family member, and fresh potting soil, and you’ll be set. Then, you can

decide together which plants you’d like to grow! Carrots are fun because of the surprise factor — just imagine your child discovering that the part they eat grows below the ground! Peas are tasty and fairly easy to grow, as are strawberries. The options really are endless. Depending on the growing season in your area, you can choose to buy seeds or opt for rooted plants. Last but certainly not least, the best part of gardening as a family is the healthy, fresh produce you’ll get to enjoy all summer long!

Jack Gilbert, a scientist at the University of Chicago and a parent himself, and his co-author,

Logan, son of Litigation Manager Jeanette Soltys, putting his green thumb to action

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HOW TO STAY IN TOUCH WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS WHILE FOLLOWING SOCIAL DISTANCING GUIDELINES

HOST A MOVIE NIGHT.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is encouraging communities across the U.S. to practice social distancing. While this will help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, or COVID-19, it also means that social interactions will be minimal. In addition to impeding many industries and businesses, this has significant impacts on families and friends who can no longer visit each other in person. Luckily, the technology we have today allows us to stay in touch while still practicing social responsibility. SPRUCE UP EVERYDAY ACTIVITIES. Hopping on the phone or your laptop to video chat is a great way to reach out and catch up with loved ones. While folding laundry or doing other mundane chores, give a friend or your parents a call to idly chat; it can make your tedious

tasks much more enjoyable. Video calls are also beneficial if, for example, you’re missing out on your daily workouts with a friend. Hop on a video chat to practice yoga, cardio, or other simple exercise routines together. LET YOUR KIDS CHAT WITH FRIENDS. Kids can benefit from video chatting by staying in touch with their friends while school and other activities are canceled. Letting your kids connect to social media is a pretty big step, so consider signing them up for Yoursphere or Kidzworld, kid- friendly networks that let them keep in touch with their friends while you can monitor their activity. Get in touch with other parents to set up virtual play dates over video chats for your kids. They can even watch a movie or TV show together.

Speaking of movies, Netflix developed a unique way for people to watch movies and shows together: Netflix Party. If you have a desktop or laptop with a Chrome browser, visit NetflixParty.com to download the application. Once downloaded, open the movie or TV series you’d like to watch, create or join a “party,” then relax and enjoy the show while chatting with friends. These are only a few examples of how we can stay in touch during these concerning times. Talk with your family and friends and see what other creative ideas you can come up with together. Even though you may be apart from loved ones right now, virtual communication has never been easier or more plentiful.

CONCIERGE PARTNERS’ CORNER:

HERE’S WHAT OUR Clients Are Saying!

Find Your Dream Home With Pam Santoro

“No one sells a home like a mom.”

This is the motto of Pam Santoro, experienced real estate agent in the Luxury Collection at Berkshire Hathaway. Pam has been in the real estate industry for the past 15 years and currently serves the North Fulton area, the East Cobb area, Cumming, and Suwanee. Buying or selling a home is a big life change. Having someone on your team with experience in real estate, who can help you with big

“Ashley and her team are just amazing. They make you feel safe and understood during what probably will be one of the most difficult situations of your life. They are caring and compassionate and so human! I hope you don’t ever need their services, but if you do, please know you are in great hands.”

decisions, can make all the difference. Pam’s mission is to help people, buyers and sellers alike. She is skilled at helping people find the perfect house by identifying how specific properties will fit in with their family’s lifestyle. Likewise, Pam has a lot of experience helping sellers close the deal on their old house so they can move to their new home with ease. Pam is a member of the Atlanta Board of Realtors, Georgia Association of Realtors, National Association of Realtors, Women’s Council of Realtors, National Aging in Place Chapter, Atlanta Senior Center Network Niche, Senior Resource Alliance of North Atlanta, and Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce.

– Analia B.

Get in touch with Pam by visiting PamSantoro.BHHSGeorgia.com .

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STAYING POSITIVE AND CELEBRATING NEW LIFE

The pandemic has changed the way we socialize and interact, but we’re still finding ways to celebrate the good and positive things in life with the people we love. We just held a virtual baby shower for our very own Kate Farmer! We had treats delivered to the entire staff and sent gifts for Kate to open as we watched online. Not being able to be in one another’s presence may have been

disappointing, but we were able to still enjoy the merriment of Kate’s baby shower, and I think that’s a great message to hold onto. Even with the looming presence of the quarantine and the pandemic, we can still find nice and positive things of worth in our lives that should still be celebrated. Congratulations to Kate, and thank you for giving us a reason to be positive in these times!

MOTHER’S DAY AND COVID-19 BE SURE TO MAKE TIME FOR MOMS

This year, Mother’s Day is even more important than it usually is. As calls for social distancing and shelter-in-place orders canceled school and demanded many people work from home, parents around the world have been incredibly busy over the last several weeks. Most kids have never had this much time with their parents before. Every mom can say they are getting to know their children in a way they

have never gotten to know their child before. The COVID-19 pandemic created a series of new challenges parents had to overcome while putting on a brave face for their kids. That’s why we need to make time to celebrate all moms this Mother’s Day.

a huge feat that deserves to be acknowledged. Many beloved Mother’s Day traditions will likely be put on hold this year. Brunch at Grandma’s favorite restaurant or a picnic in the park aren’t conducive to social distancing guidelines. However, this doesn’t mean we cannot still celebrate moms. Other parts of the world have already had to grapple with celebrating Mother’s Day safely during a pandemic. In the United Kingdom, where Mother’s Day is celebrated in March, Skype calls and street serenades replaced traditional Mother’s Day brunches and street fairs. Though families couldn’t go out and spend time together, they still found ways to connect. In light of everything happening in the world, you may feel like you should let Mother’s Day go by the wayside this year. Don’t. Take time to reach out to the moms in your life and celebrate them. And if you’re a mom, take time to acknowledge all the hard work you have done this year and every year.

Balancing working from home, homeschooling, and parenting without ever getting a break is

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