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Families in Conflict: A Holiday Super-Challenge!

The holidays present an extra special time of family conflict for so many of us. Children don’t grow up expecting this as adults, but as I age I learn that our family is not alone in this dynamic. It’s a time when expectations run high and memories deep. Last weekend, I took on an informal mediation between my husband and his mother to see if I could orchestrate a truce or at least change the dynamic between them so that next year may bring a less stressful holiday season. What I am discovering, as I go through the process, is that it takes a super skilled mediator to “self-mediate”. While I profess not to take sides in this conflict, and indeed, objectively see both sides of the issues, the very nature of creating the environment (we’ve decided on neutral territory–neither one’s home) and the timing (we’ve decided on dinner on New Year’s Day–instead of Christmas) is a challenge. I’m curious whether any of my readers have attempted self-mediation within the family, or whether I am the only one who belongs to a family who doesn’t live life in perfect harmony. Your thoughts and insights are welcome this time. This Christmas, Schau’s Mediation Insights need you to contribute! May you be blessed with abiding peace, challenges and triumphs and above all gratitude!

P.S.: For those of you who have noticed, I took a few months “sabbatical” from blogging–having disclosed a few too many details about a mediation which I found challenging…but I’m back! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all.

                        author

Jan Frankel Schau

Attorney Jan Frankel Schau is a highly skilled neutral, engaged in full-time dispute resolution. Following a successful career spanning two decades in litigation, she has mediated over 700 cases for satisfied clients. Ms. Schau understands the nuances of trial and settlement practice as well as client relations and balancing the… MORE >

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