Divorcing parents are understandably uneasy regarding their separation and divorce, mainly what it means for their kids.
Parents stress about where they will live and where their kids will go to school. They are worried about finances and wonder what will happen with their kids’ relationships with their parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.
It is vital to put the children’s best interests at the forefront. Divorce is taxing on kids; it can be overwhelming, stressful, and disruptive to their lives, not to mention the psychological effects.
Depending on the children’s age and capability to comprehend what transpires, children can have their voices heard by being involved in their parents’ mediation process. Their participation allows them to express their feelings openly.
If both parents and the children agree, the mediator will meet with the children confidentially. The mediator will stimulate the children to speak about their emotions and how they feel about their parents breaking up.
Usually, kids are mindful of not wanting to hurt their parents’ feelings, and this causes them to remain quiet and not voice their feelings and wishes. Occasionally, children ask the mediator to give messages to their parents that they are uncomfortable telling them.
The mediator will not ask a child to make decisions about their family situation (such as which parent they wish to live with). However, children often provide beneficial insight into the household dynamics, which can help the parents put the kids’ needs first and come to a resolution with their children in mind.
It is paramount to the children that their voices are heard, which benefits their mental health and wellbeing tremendously.
The mediator’s objective is to make a safe space for the child where they can talk freely about what is going on with their family and how they feel.
A few motivations why it may be helpful for your children to be involved in mediation are:
Children don’t need to attend mediation. The option is there if the children and parents choose to utilize it. Many parents are unaware of the benefits of including their children in the mediation process. Speaking to someone neutral often gives children the sounding board they need to heal.
In this podcast, JAMS neutrals Patricia Thompson and Bruce Edwards leverage their alternative dispute resolution (ADR) experience within the construction industry to discuss and demystify the myths pertaining to the...By Bruce Edwards, Patricia Thompson