Children are human beings who deserve respect, and they are superior to us because of their innocence and the bigger opportunities that lie ahead,”
It is of the utmost importance that, in any mediation involving children, the children in question serve as the focal point of the conversations that take place between their respective parents. Parents have a significant need to ensure that they are prioritising their children’s requirements before their own, and that they are taking measures to safeguard both their children’s mental and physical health.
Therefore, what steps can we take to guarantee that children are respected during the mediation process?
The Mirror of Reality
When discussing possible options and proposals in mediation pertaining to children, parents should take into consideration the effects that the various scenarios will have on their children and really test, in reality, whether any proposals they are putting forward are going to meet the needs of the children, safeguard their wellbeing, and, where appropriate, meet the children’s own wishes.
Talk to them about it.
Communication is the most vital aspect of effective coparenting, and this aspect does not end with the parents themselves; rather, it is of the utmost significance that there be constructive communication between the parents and the children. According to the findings of certain studies, one of the most common complaints that children have about their parents after divorce is that they did not feel like they were included in important decisions or that they were listened to about issues that affected them and their future. When a family unit is falling apart, maintaining open lines of communication with one another is of the utmost importance to the well-being of the children involved.
As a result, parents might find it beneficial to have frank conversations with their children about how their children are currently feeling and to inquire about their perspectives on the matter. It is imperative that this activity be carried out in a manner that is suitable for children, taking into account their ages as well as their levels of maturity and comprehension. It is essential that children never get the impression that they are being placed in the centre of their family’s dissolution at any time in the process.
If the parents choose to communicate with their children about a certain issue individually rather than jointly, they will need to determine how they will discuss the perspectives that their children have conveyed to them with one another. If they choose to communicate with their children about the issue individually, they will need to determine how they will discuss the issue jointly.
Involve a specialist on the matter.
In certain situations, either the parents or the children themselves may feel that it is challenging to communicate their thoughts and emotions to either of their parents directly and may require some additional assistance in order to be able to do so in the future. This support can help them. It’s possible that the parents may conclude that it’s necessary to bring in a specialist for the children so that they can discuss their emotions in confidence with a third party. This assistance could take the form of counselling or therapy, or it might come from the school as additional support. It’s possible that this is solely for the youngster, but it might also be for the whole family.
Mediation that includes children
Involving the children in the mediation process itself is another another choice that may be made by divorced or separated couples who choose to go that route. This provides the kid with the chance to talk directly to the mediator about how they are feeling and share any ideas that they have in a setting that is both confidential and relaxed. They are able to communicate with the mediator what information about their perspectives they would want their parents to have. Kid inclusive mediation guarantees that a child has a voice in the process of their family’s breakup, and it may provide the parents with a lot of useful knowledge when they are trying to make decisions regarding their children. It is not expected of the youngster to come to a conclusion; rather, we want them to discuss their thoughts. As long as the issue does not constitute a risk to the kid’s safety, the mediator will honour a child’s request that they not divulge any information to their parents that the child does not desire to communicate with them regarding any particular topic. It is recommended that children aged 10 and older be talked to directly during the mediation process; however, the decision ultimately rests with the kid in question. Guidelines advise that it is suitable for children aged 10 and above to be spoken to directly throughout the mediation process.
Give youngsters access to the resources you have.
Children who are going through a divorce or other family crisis have access to a variety of useful tools that are available in the public domain. It is essential for parents to set aside some time to consider whether or not there are any resources that can be of assistance to their children and then to discuss those options with their offspring. The following is a list of some instances of well-known resources:
Voices in the Middle is a website that provides young people who are going through a divorce or separation with a place to go to get support and assistance when they need it.
The Divorce Journal for Kids is jam-packed with activities that will help youngsters work through their feelings and their ideas and bring questions out into the open. This journal is perfect for children who are going through a divorce.
The National Youth Advocacy Service is there to hear what children and young people have to say and to provide them the tools they need to have their voices heard.
The CAFCASS “My Family is Changing” booklet is a publication targeted primarily for young people with the goal of assisting them in better comprehending the concept of family breakup.
Childline is a unique support line that is available to children.
Bear Cards are a set of bear-themed emotional flash cards designed to assist youngsters as well as adults in communicating how they are feeling.
In response to the first inquiry on how we may show respect for children whose parents are going through a divorce, the aforementioned are some of the possibilities that are open to us, but the list is not complete. Communication is the primary theme that emerges from these choices as well as the research that has been released; this theme emphasises the need of ensuring that children are supported during the process of divorce and separation and that their welfare is properly protected.
What exactly does this entail?
The most important principle that is being supported and advanced is the idea that all children and young people aged 10 and older should be given the opportunity to have their voices heard during the dispute resolution processes, including family mediation, if they so desire. This is the main principle that is being endorsed and advanced.
In what ways is this possible during the course of the family mediation process?
As part of the mediation process, children may be able to have their voices heard by specially trained and authorised family mediators who have also undergone further training and earned the additional certification of Direct Child Consultant. With the consent of the child involved, the mediator can assist by feeding back, with the child’s permission, what they truly think and feel, and this may be the first time the parents actually hear their child’s voice coming from an objective third party. The benefit that this can bring can be powerful, and it not only enables the child to feel like they are a part of the process and to have a voice, but it also enables the child to have a voice. It is a tool that is utilised by family mediators that specialise in the field, and it has been for a number of years.
Making preparations for your kids’ needs and activities by National Family Mediation Birmingham
Each and every parent has the natural desire to lessen the anguish that their divorce or separation causes on their children. According to the findings of several studies, the manner in which parents handle their separation has a significant influence not only on their children at the moment but also later on as they develop into adults.
You will, of course, know what is best for your kid, but we can help you focus together on the particular needs of each child so that you can work up a plan for how you can continue to parent your children after you and your partner have separated. Sometimes parents come to mediation to talk about a specific issue where they are having trouble reaching a consensus with one another. However, the majority of the time, parents want to talk about all of the important questions that need to be considered when they are no longer living together, such as how they will share the day-to-day care of their children, what will happen during the holidays, what will happen with birthdays and Christmas, and how they will come to mutually agreeable decisions about significant issues such as schools for their children.
We are able to formulate the shared strategy that you and our staff come up with into a Parenting Statement, which you and your ex-spouse may then sign to attest to the arrangements and serve as a reminder of the terms of your agreement moving forward.