Family mediation is typically used to help parents who are about to separate, are separated/divorced, or have been struggling in litigation to craft appropriate parenting plans and learn how to create a co-parenting dynamic. I am a mediator who feels it is essential to bring the children into the process in an age-appropriate way. The benefits of having children participate in mediation include:
- Learning effective conflict resolution skills at a young age;
- Learning to grieve the end of the family as they knew it;
- Learning how to heal previous wounds with parents or siblings that were never addressed;
- Gaining the confidence through assertiveness to state feelings and have those feelings accepted by parents;
- Practicing the lost arts of self-respect, mutual respect, self-discipline, and positive reframing of powerful wording.
These skills encompass the important emotional-intelligence skills in such short supply in our present world. With these skills, many of the children and teens that pass through my mediation not only leave with renewed optimism, maturity, and excellent communication skills beyond their years, but some teens have also expressed their desire to pursue mediation as a career themselves because the experience made them feel heard and understood.