Parenting when a family is living together can be enormously rewarding yet still be one of the hardest jobs in the world. Parenting as separated parents is that much tougher. It can be emotionally exhausting and present new problems that need to be solved. Receiving the right support following separation can make all the difference to how parents and children cope after separation. All parents want their children to come through the separation with the minimum of unwelcome consequences, so trying to achieve as amicable a separation as possible is a goal worth pursuing.
Separating can take up a lot of mental and emotional energy and it can be difficult for parents to create the space needed to think about what their children need at this time. Family mediation which is either focused on each child (Child Focused) or which includes each child (Child Inclusive) can help parents work together to provide their children with the support and secure base that they need.
Adrienne Cox undertakes all her mediations where children are involved, as either Child Focused Mediation or Child Inclusive Mediation. She is trained to carry out both types of mediation practice and is DBS (formerly known as CRB) checked.
What is Child Focused Mediation?
To enable the best arrangements to be put in place for children post separation the mediator will provide general information to both parents about:
- How children cope with parental separation
- What children might need from parents to help them cope
- How parents can protect their children from parental conflict
- How to manage and minimise parental conflict
Additionally, the mediator will help both parents to:
- Focus on their children’s needs as well as their own
- Assist parents to put in place arrangements and parenting plans that can work for all the family in both the short and the long term
- Consider options from their children’s perspectives as well as their own
- Make the shift from parenting together to parenting apart and to make that transition as smooth as possible for the benefit of their children
What is Child Inclusive Mediation?
The mediator helps the parents, as in Child Focused mediation. In addition, the mediator sees the children separately, usually on just one occasion. This only happens if both parents feel that it would be helpful to their children and the children have either asked to or agreed to meet the mediator.
The meeting that the mediator has with the children is confidential (with the exception of any child protection issues) and provides an opportunity for the children to:
- Share with the mediator any thoughts, worries, concerns and wishes that they have about their experience of the separation, if they wish to do so
- Meet the mediator in person – it can be beneficial for children to meet the person that is helping their parents resolve any outstanding issues following separation
- Ask the mediator to feedback any particular concerns, thoughts and feelings to their parents – the sharing of this information can help parents to put in place better arrangements for their children
Child Inclusive Mediation does not provide the children with the opportunity to be the decision makers. Parents remain the ones to make the decisions but are then able to do so with a full understanding of the needs and feelings of every member of the family.
If you feel that it may be beneficial for the mediator to meet with your children as part of the mediation, please either telephone Adrienne Cox on 01392 409094 or discuss it with her during your first mediation session.