Atlanta Divorce Law Group - October 2023

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THE HALLOWEEN WE ALMOST RUINED AS PARENTS Here’s What We Learned From That Parenting Mistake!

OCTOBER 2023

When my oldest son, Rami, was 2 years old, Hisham and I took him trick-or-treating for the first time. At the first few houses, he was shy. He wouldn’t look people in the eye or say “trick or treat!” very loudly when they opened the door. But by the third or fourth house, his whole demeanor changed. The sight of candy dropping into his basket excited Rami so much that he opened up. Soon, he was greeting each person at the door, making eye contact, and saying a few words to them in exchange for his candy! We all headed home feeling great — until Hisham made a big mistake.

transgression! As soon as we understood, Hisham crouched down to Rami’s level and said, “I’m so sorry, buddy. That was your candy. You worked hard for it. I would love to share, but I should have asked you first.” Just like that, the tears cleared up, and we were a happy family again. I still think back on that trick-or-treating moment every Halloween. It’s amazing that a simple annual tradition can be such a great learning experience for both parents and kids. Little ones learn the value of giving and receiving, the importance of respect and good manners, and how to socialize successfully. Meanwhile, parents like us learn how early children have a sense of self and expect adults to respect them and their possessions. Autonomy is incredibly important for kids of all ages. The older your children get, the more vital it is to acknowledge they deserve to have control over their lives. If you’re divorced and share custody, you can show your kids respect by asking how they’d like to spend Halloween. That doesn’t mean you need to do exactly what they tell you (especially if it would cause problems with your custody agreement), but acknowledging you’re interested in what they think and how they feel goes a long way. It gives them self-confidence, encourages them to set boundaries, and helps them grow into healthy, independent adults. This Halloween, keep this in mind as you plan activities with your kids. I’m already thinking about it as I brainstorm our costumes! Last year, our family dressed up together as ancient Egyptians, but this might be the year Rami (now 11) overrides us and chooses his own outfit. If he wants to do that, I’ll support him 100%. “That single action RUINED Rami’s night! He immediately started bawling.”

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He casually reached into Rami’s candy basket, grabbed a Tootsie Roll, and ate it.

That single action RUINED Rami’s night! He immediately started bawling.

As first-time parents, it took us a few minutes of confused soothing to sort out what had happened. Apparently, Rami couldn’t believe that his father had reached into his candy basket without asking. We realized at that moment that we had underestimated the pride, self-respect, and autonomy a 2-year-old could feel. To us, trick-or-treating was casual fun. But Rami had a deep sense of pride and self-worth embedded in every piece of candy he’d collected. When Hisham took one, it felt like a major

Happy Halloween!

–Sara Khaki

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Empower Yourself and a Friend With Our Guidance

Our complimentary divorce support groups and seminars are available online! Register for upcoming events and invite your friends to gain knowledge, resources, and emotional support to help you feel empowered while you go through major life changes — all without leaving home. 2 Virtual Events to Help You and Your Friends Overcome Divorce Fears

HAPPILY EVER AFTER DIVORCE SUPPORT GROUP MEETING (VIRTUAL SUPPORT GROUP) When: Thursday, Oct. 12, at 6:30 p.m.

CHILD CUSTODY BOOTCAMP (COMPLIMENTARY WEBINAR) When: Tuesday, Oct. 24, at 6:30 p.m.

Child custody battles bring all kinds of “experts” out of the woodwork. If you’re in the middle of one, you’ve probably gotten advice from a half-dozen well-meaning friends and family members about how to secure the custody you want. But you shouldn’t rely on their judgment! Instead, attend our upcoming virtual Child Custody Bootcamp and encourage anyone else you know going through the process to do the same. Our team of experts will give you the facts about the different types of custody and how to increase your odds of a favorable outcome.

Do you know what’s scarier than ghosts, zombies, haunted houses, or even Stephen King stories? Facing a divorce and its fallout alone. Fortunately, you can avoid that by joining our Happily Ever After Divorce Support Group and inviting your divorced friends and family to do the same. This group meets every month, and it’s a safe space for people going through divorce to reflect, ask questions, and overcome fears. You’ll have the chance to make

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friends with people going through the same tough times and learn from Kathleen Shack, the therapist and divorce coach who guides the group each month.

Empower Your Teen With Fitness Goals A PARENT’S ROLE IN CREATING HEALTHY HABITS

Countless adults struggle to set fitness goals, so it shouldn’t be surprising that many teens don’t know where to start either. Parents can be a critical source of motivation and support for young adults as they create healthy habits. Whether your teen is a natural-born sports star or a bit of a couch potato, you can help them be more purposeful about exercise and fitness. The process begins by discovering what drives them. If your teen is already active, ask what they enjoy and what goals they have for themselves. For those more reluctant to break a sweat, discuss whether they’re happy with their fitness level. Are they satisfied with their current level of activity? Do they think it will continue serving them well as they age? But even more important than their goals is their motivation. We only achieve something with a compelling reason to drive us. Whether your teen’s goal is strength, weight loss, endurance, or something else, ask why it matters to them. Don’t be surprised if your teen’s motivations center around their looks — after all, we live in a very appearance-conscious society. But you can both acknowledge the pressure to look

a certain way while reminding your kids that their health is more important. Many reasons to exercise focus on avoiding negative emotions like insecurity, so help your teen flip their perspective and concentrate on how they want to feel in the future. Your teen probably won’t stop caring about how they look in bathing suits, but having these conversations is crucial. Adolescence is a particularly vulnerable time for developing eating disorders, so discourage calorie-counting or obsessive exercise. If you are concerned about your child’s relationship with food or fitness, you should speak with their doctor. Ideally, the focus should be on the benefits of physical activity. Talk about the reasons you make time to exercise. And if you don’t move as much as you should, see if your teen would be interested in joining you in becoming fit together. Parents play a crucial role in shaping their children’s relationship with fitness. Help them understand the lifelong advantages of being active so that the habits they create now follow them well into adulthood.

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Listen to the newest episodes from ADLG’s Sara Khaki and Shawna Woods!

‘Happily Ever After Divorce Podcast’

Here come the scary decorations, pumpkin carving, trick-or-treating, and spooky costumes because Halloween is just around the corner! These traditions are what make Halloween fun and exciting year after year. However, did you know that jack-o’-lanterns come from an Irish legend or that trick-or-treating comes from a historical ritual called “souling”? LEGENDS BEHIND YOUR FAVORITE TRADITIONS LET’S UNMASK HALLOWEEN THE ORIGINS AND

CONCIERGE PARTNER’S CORNER Find Your Stride Again With Help From Total Life Care Counseling

“Usually, I wouldn’t post reviews for a law office, but this one is deserving. I reached out to them about adopting my son, and they were nothing short of amazing. From the paralegal, the lawyer, and the office people to the person who picked up the phone, my experience was 10/10. They worked hard to keep my costs down, help me, and do things as smoothly as possible. I am forever grateful to the people who work here, especially AJ Askew and Shawna Woods. Thank you for bringing my family together.” –L.L. WHAT OUR CLIENTS ARE SAYING! As Rene puts it, “I’m here to help you sit where you are, make friends with your feelings, and escape once and for all from the trap you feel caught in. … I have over two decades working as a therapist, helping people break free from the chains of depression, anxiety, traumatic experiences, and other emotional challenges. And I’d love to support you in your journey toward greater freedom, wholeness, and happiness.” If you’re interested in learning more about Total Life Care Counseling, visit TotalLifeCareNow.com or reach out to Rene directly. You can reach him by emailing Rene.Ely@totallifecarenow.com or calling 404-641-4393. As we said on Page 2, you can turn to our Happily Ever After Divorce Support Group to find community if you feel alone, lost, or confused during your divorce. But what if you aren’t divorcing, or group therapy just isn’t cutting it? In those situations, working one-on-one with Rene Ely of Total Life Care Counseling might help. Rene specializes in helping people who feel trapped, stressed, and overwhelmed by their day-to-day lives. He won’t judge you or try to label how you’re feeling. Instead, he’ll talk you through your past and suggest ways to improve your future.

As we prepare for Oct. 31 activities, here are some fun facts you might not know about Halloween!

HALLOWEEN IS BASED ON A CELTIC FESTIVAL. Samhain, a pagan festival held from Oct. 31 to Nov. 1, celebrated both the harvest and the “dark” second half of the year. During this celebration, it was believed the barrier separating the spirits from the physical world would come down, allowing demons to enter and the spirits of all who passed away that year to move on to the next life. ‘STINGY JACK’ HELPED EVOLVE JACK-O’-LANTERNS. The Irish myth of a man named “Stingy Jack” goes like this: Stingy Jack invited the devil for a drink, and because he didn’t want to pay, he convinced the devil to turn into a coin so he could buy their drinks. However, instead of paying, he placed the “coin” next to a cross in his pocket that prevented the devil from returning to his original form. Once he freed the devil, Stingy Jack continued to trick him. When he died, God turned away Stingy Jack with only coal to light his way, so he placed the coal in a carved-out turnip to create a lantern. From there, people slowly transformed his “lantern” into the modern-day jack-o’-lantern! CANDY CORN WAS ONCE CALLED CHICKEN FEED. Candy corn, which the Wunderlee Candy Company began producing in the late 1880s, is an extremely popular Halloween candy. In fact, today, about 35 million pounds of the candy are sold each year! When the Goelitz Candy Company brought it to the masses at the turn of the century, they called the sweet tricolored candy “Chicken Feed” because so many people worked on farms at the time. Their early ads exclaimed, “Something worth crowing for!”

Now you know! Happy Halloween!

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Transform Your Fall Harvest Into Stunning Indoor Decorations!

A NATURAL WREATH

If you have a backyard garden, you may find yourself looking for new ways to use all the crops you’ve grown. After all,

Fresh herbs, flowers, or leaves from your fall harvest are perfect for an autumn wreath. All you need is a wreath form, which you can buy from your local craft store or online, and some floral U-pins.

there are only so many pumpkins you can carve, seeds you can roast, or squash you can spaghetti.

So, instead of looking up “squash recipes” for the hundredth time this week, consider these indoor decor tips that utilize your garden’s bountiful harvest! A CENTERPIECE Fall fruits and vegetables make great centerpiece arrangements because they have both seasonal colors and unique textures. Consider arranging a few squash or pumpkins in a bowl or basket and topping them with a bouquet of festive flowers. You can also mix herbs like basil, parsley, thyme, or rosemary into the bouquet for fragrance and a fuller appearance. Play with the different shapes and sizes of your gourds. Have them lean against each other or stack them for variation and depth in your display.

Use large leaves as a base (pumpkin leaves are great), then layer on smaller seasonal herbs such as sage, rosemary, or oregano. Finally, attach some flowers to it! Squash or pumpkin blossoms work beautifully, but you can use any seasonal flower you have growing. AN AUTUMNAL HERB SWAG A “door swag” is a traditional holiday decoration, and it’s an easy way to add some color to your door without creating an entire wreath.

To make a swag, grab a few bundles of your favorite herbs, secure the stems with a rubber band, wrap them with twine, and tie them off, leaving a few inches of twine on both sides. Then, tie those ends together to form a loop and hang the swag on your door!

Take Your Friends and Family for a Spooktacular Time! 3 MUST-SEE HAUNTED HOUSES NEAR ATLANTA

NETHERWORLD HAUNTED HOUSE 1313 Netherworld Way, Stone Mountain

FOLKLORE HAUNTED HOUSE 5389 N. Main St., Acworth

FearWorld.com

FolkloreHauntedHouse.com

This shiver-inducing attraction is ADLG founder Sara Khaki’s personal favorite! It’s full of terrifyingly dressed live actors, jaw-dropping sets, and Hollywood- worthy special effects that have made guests scream since 1997. This year, Netherworld added two new haunts (“Primordial” and “Cryptid Chaos”) to its lineup. You can also check out the site’s five escape rooms, a “Museum of Monsters,” a gift shop, and Halloween snacks! Kids as young as 7 are welcome, but the attraction is recommended for teens and adults. Tickets start at $25, and you can pick your preferred date and time at FearWorld.com.

If you visit Folklore, you’ll get a lot of haunted bang for your buck! The experience features two attractions: a classic spooky mansion (“Winter Estate: The Manor”) and a sci-fi adventure on a haunted spaceship (“Overload: Final Destination”). You can also play games of chance at the Midway of Mayhem

carnival, snag souvenirs at the gift shop, and enjoy a death-defying experience on the Buried Alive Coffin Ride, which “features a full narrative

soundtrack, casket movement, smells, animated special effects, and more.” Tickets start at $28. If you bring your kids,

PARANOIA HAUNTED HOUSE 2075 Marietta Highway, Canton

ParanoiaHaunt.com

ask for a Scaredy Cat Badge so the haunt’s monsters won’t spook them too much.

Paranoia is known for its immersive, plot-heavy haunted house experiences. At last year’s “Extraction” haunt, guests wandered through Facility Q — ground zero for Operation VOID, an experiment gone wrong that literally brought the facility to life. The walls breathed, the water ran thick as blood, and the facility’s test subjects (half-alien monsters) wandered the halls and dropped from the ceilings. This year’s theme is “Necrosis,” and it’s sure to be just as horrifying! Visit ParanoiaHaunt.com to grab tickets for your preferred date. Tickets start at $28, and kids under 13 should walk through with a parent.

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