EP: 046



While divorcing partners may not be able to agree on much else, they DO want what is best for their children. But when you’re in the middle of crafting a parenting plan, it’s easy to get lost in the details, get competitive, and forget your shared mission—to provide a healthy life for your kids moving forward.

Dr. Deanna Conklin-Danao is a clinical psychologist in the Chicago area. She has 15-plus years of experience in the field of mental health, serving a school-based health center, a community mental health center as well as hospital-based inpatient and outpatient settings. Dr. Conklin-Danao has been in private practice since 2006, and her work covers a broad range of issues including depression, anxiety and life transitions. Her work with children, adolescents, couples and families makes Dr. Conklin-Danao uniquely qualified to be a Collaborative Law Divorce Coach, helping families tailor solutions to fit their family’s unique needs during divorce.

Today, Dr. Conklin-Danao joins Katherine to discuss the importance of surrounding yourself with personal and professional support that will keep you focused on doing what’s best for your children. Dr. Conklin-Danao walks us through the factors to consider in crafting a parenting plan, from the ages and personalities of your children to the shift in your identity as a parent. She shares her ‘business relationship’ approach to working with your former partner and her insight on presenting your core values as a problem to solve, rather than a personal criticism. Listen in to understand how to avoid turning co-parenting into a competition so that your kids can spend meaningful time with both parents.


How to craft a parenting plan that grows with your family

The danger in making choices rooted in hurt and disappointment

The importance of considering your kids’ ages and personalities

The impact of positive personal and professional support

  • Articulate aim to put kids first
  • Keep focus on end goal

The difficult shift to a co- or parallel parenting relationship

How therapy can help you mourn the loss of your marriage

The value in viewing co-parenting as a business relationship

How to cope when your identity as a parent shifts suddenly

Dr. Conklin-Danao’s insight around core values

  • What’s most important to share with my child?
  • What can I let go of?

Presenting core values as a positive need vs. personal criticism

How to avoid turning co-parenting into a competition

Why putting children in the middle hinders their development


Dr. Conklin-Danao’s Website

Dr. Conklin-Danao’s Blog


The Center for Understanding Conflict
Miller Law Group
Katherine on LinkedIn