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The Divorce Survival Guide Podcast

Oct 7, 2021

“Parenting is hard, divorce or not. Parenting is a big ask.” When you mix parenting, divorce, changes in family structure, and a complete upheaval of everyday life - parenting becomes even harder. Michelle Kenney, a connective parenting coach, joins me to talk about how to parent your children before, during, and after divorce, with connection, peace, and empathy. 

Michelle is a divorced mom of two daughters, who are 12 and 15. She is a recovering yeller, control freak, and perfectionist turned connective parenting coach. She was so poignant and soothing during our time together. I can’t wait for you to listen. 

“I gave up the relationship I share with my ex-husband to focus on the relationship I share with my girls. The relationship I share with my girls is better because I got divorced.”  Michelle Kenney.

Show Highlights

  • Was parenting always a big ask or did parenting change over time (compared to past generations)? (5:33)
  • How to use connective parenting as opposed to punitive parenting, when your own life is destabilized by the divorce process. (7:39)
  • “It’s okay to make mistakes, it’s not perfect, and we can strive to do better.” parents, we have an obligation to our children to apologize when we do get things wrong. (7:52)
  • Connective parenting: what it means and what it looks like. (10:20)
  • When your co-parent continues to punitively parent your child and you don’t. “You need one, good connected caretaker to be a functioning human being, to do well, and to be well-adjusted.” (12:15)
  • How to talk to your children about your different parenting styles without badmouthing your co-parent. (14:30)
  • The importance of empathizing with your child. Plus, why is it so hard to do? “We don’t understand what empathy is because no one did it for us.” (22:06)
  • Adjusting to co-parenting and being without your child while they are with their co-parent. (23:36)
  • Why punitive parenting is bad for children. (28:13)
  • Michelle shares her experience as a former yeller and insight about what parents can do when they do yell or lose their shit. (32:30)

Learn More About Michelle:

Michelle lives in Los Angeles with her two girls 12 and 15. Before becoming a Hand in Hand certified instructor in 2015, she worked for 12 years in public schools as a teacher and counselor. None of which prepared her to be a mom. After years of consequences, bribes, and star charts she found Hand in Hand parenting, created by Patty Wipfler. It reshaped the relationship she shares with her daughters, and she credits it with changing her life.

She is passionate about helping others find their way through the murky business of being a connected parent. She loves leading groups and finds the dynamic transformative. 

Michelle also strongly believes that listening partnerships are the cornerstone to moving through difficulties.

Michelle has helped herself and others make meaningful connections, work on sibling rivalry, and alleviate school problems.  Aggression, fears, withdrawal, and sleep issues are just some of the struggles she has shared and helped others rectify.

She holds a Master’s Degree in Education speaks fluent Spanish, has been trained as a Council in Schools Facilitator and is an ADL Trainer fighting against the bias of all types on school campuses.

Resources & Links:
For show notes and resources, also visit:

The Divorce Survival Program is here.  Learn more or purchase, here!

Michelle's website

Michelle on Instagram

Michelle on Facebook