Parenting and Family Education

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Home Alone: Preparing Children for Self-Care

Is your child ready for self-care? Visit the UW Extension’s Home Alone website to view an online video program that can help in developing your family’s home alone plan.

Managing Finances When Ending a Relationship

Ending a romantic relationship can be a challenging experience. Divorce is something that thousands of Wisconsin couples experience each year. In addition to the difficult emotional experience that can come with ending a relationship, there can be financial challenges. For married couples considering divorce, each partner can benefit from thinking about how to cover the cost of a divorce, which can be $2,000 or more if you use legal help (Forbes, 2023). Factors that impact the cost include attorney fees, the complexity of the couples’ financial situation, child custody issues, and whether the couple agrees on terms of the divorce. Contested divorces can be much more expensive. It is important to know that Wisconsin is a community/marital property state, which means that all assets acquired during the marriage will be divided equally in a divorce. Other important questions to consider during the divorce process are:

• Who gets what property?
• What tax issues need to be considered?
• If the couple owns a home, who gets the home? Should the home be sold? If so, how should the money from the sale of the home be split?
• What will the financial standing of both partners be after the divorce? Will a higher-earning spouse provide financial support to a lower-earning spouse? If so, for how long?
• Will either partner remain listed as a beneficiary on the other’s financial accounts?

To help answer these questions and others, divorcing partners can consider finding professional help. Legal Action of Wisconsin may be able to provide free legal services related to divorce, legal separation, child custody and placement, spousal support, and more. You can contact Legal Action of Wisconsin by calling 855-9472529 or visiting

After the divorce process is complete, each ex-partner will need to adjust to their new situation. Some tips are:
• Give yourself time to recover. It takes time to financially recover. However, a new financial situation feels often more normal as time passes.
• Take on the task of managing money. During the relationship, one ex-partner may have taken the lead in managing monthly bills, savings, etc. After the relationship, each ex-partner will need to create a spending plan or find support (example: a financial coach, friend, etc.) to help create one.
• Adjust to new income & expenses. After ending a relationship, it is common for the income & expenses of each ex-partner to change. Tracking your expenses can help you better understand your new financial situation.
• Remove responsibility for certain accounts. While divorce often results in a couple’s property being split, it can still be important for ex-partners to remove their names from accounts they no longer use or have access to use. For example, if ex-partners have both of their names on a loan, it may be best for the loan to be in just one person’s name. Talk about finances with your county’s financial educator. Visit for more information.

Just in Time Parenting  is a free parenting newsletter that is delivered by email and specific to a child’s age and needs. They are designed so that information that’s relevant to your family is automatically delivered to you just in time!

Parenting the Preschooler fact sheets to help you and your toddler.

Raising Caring Kids uses short articles and videos to teach different social and emotional learning skills to parents of 1st-5th graders.

Plain Talk for Parents

Talking to Children about Tragedy

When tragedy occurs, it is important for parents to talk to their kids about what happened. This gives children the chance to express their feelings and their understanding of what happened. For many parents, this can be a difficult task. There are some guidelines for parents when talking to their child about a tragedy:

Adapt your conversation to your child’s age and level of understanding. The most important thing to keep in mind when talking to your child about a tragedy is the age and development of your child. Some children have more intense reactions to situations. This might determine the explanation or the amount of detail you give.

Encourage expression of feelings. Ask children to share their thoughts and feelings.  Help young children express feelings through play, drawing or telling a story. Tell them it is alright to feel scared, angry, or confused. It is important not to dismiss your child’s feelings. Discuss how to think about tragedies and ways to be empathic for people affected by tragedy.

Remain calm. Generally, children look to adults in times of tragedy and may mimic or pick up on the emotions of adults around. Your child will look to you to see how you react to the situation. Take time to get control over your own emotions before you talk to your child. This video clip from Mister Rogers may give parents some helpful ideas.

Limit media exposure. Exposure to media coverage of the event should be limited especially for young children. Avoid constant and harsh exposure to images of violence or disaster through television or other media.  Repeated exposure to images of violence can lead to trauma, anxiety or unhealthy responses.  Be available to discuss what your children see and help them make sense of disturbing images.

You don’t need to give a reason. Many times youth may ask why an event happened, and adults may feel obligated to answer. Many times there is no known reason. Be careful not to blame a cultural, racial, ethnic, religious or another group. Teach children that alternatives to violence are available and discuss peaceful methods of action.

Reassure children about their safety. Explain what you, as a parent, and others will do to provide security. However, do not ignore the terror associated with events. Acknowledge children’s concerns for others.

Engage children in activities that relieve stress. Suggestions might include walking or other types of exercise, listening to music or engaging in spiritual activities.

Overall it is important for parents to talk to their child when tragedy strikes, even if the task is difficult. It is important for your child to feel that they are supported and safe, especially in a difficult time.

For more guidance on talking with your children, contact Renee Koenig, Family Living Educator, University of Wisconsin-Extension, Kewaunee County


Charity Giving for Youth



If you have any questions regarding Families, Finances, and Wellness in Kewaunee County, please contact:

Renee Koenig
Extension Kewaunee County
625 Third Street
Luxemburg, WI 54217
(920) 388-7137

Erin Dahle – Program Assistant
Phone: (920) 388-7141