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child mediation process

Children in Mediation?

Moms and dads typically come to mediation with the mistaken assumption that a mediator’s job is to settle a disagreement. When the conflict is relating to custody or time-sharing, parents often have opposite views of what they think their children want and ask the mediator to talk to the kids. For various factors, confronting a child with such a question can put the child into a hazardous psychological position:

  1. Children need to know they have moms and dads they can depend upon to make great decisions for them.
  2. Children should not be asked questions that require them to pick between their moms and dads.
  3. Children are typically too immature to know what remains in their benefits. They ‘d enjoy to be with the parent who will let them have chocolate cake for breakfast.
  4. Kids have terrific trouble frustrating a parent they are totally reliant upon.
  5. Children are frequently “prepared” to inform the mediator what the moms and dad desires.
  6. Kids fear retribution (real or thought of).

Contrary to common belief, there is no age when the child can lawfully choose where s/he wants to live. Recognizing the age of majority as the legal ability to choose residence and the prospective psychological damage to a child, judges do not like to see children in the courtroom. If they talk with a child, they frequently prefer to do it in chambers and might hold it versus parents and their lawyers.

There are appropriate times when a mediator consults with the children. A mediator might wish to get specific input from the children about how Mom and Dad can best help them through this time. Some common complaints are: “Make them stop combating.” “We’re tired of tuna noodle casseroles.” “Dad keeps asking me what’s going on between Mom and her partner.” “Mother sends out messages to Daddy through me.”

Another appropriate discussion may be to find their specific holiday desires (” We wish to have Christmas eve with Mama at Granny’s and Christmas day with Daddy.” “We wish to have two turkey dinners on Thanksgiving.” “I want my birthday at the pizza parlor so Mother and father can both come.”).

A mediator might meet the family after the contract remains in its final type to
help describe it to the children.

The mediator must make it clear to the child, or preferably to the parents, that we need input from the child, not choices. If the mediator does not want to talk with the child, and if the parents can not collect input from the child without compromising him or her, a child’s therapist, or an equally appropriate child development professional can typically speak to what is in that child’s best interests.

Custody Mediation

Before talking with children in mediation, the mediator needs to get a contract from the moms and dads concerning the function of collecting details from the child. Spend some time discovering out from both parents what each child is like so you can use this info to construct relationship when you talk with the child.

Before proceeding, get agreement concerning what the children are informed ahead of time about why they are pertaining to mediation. The information must be clear (input only) and preferably provided by both moms and dads together. Schedule neutral transportation (both moms and dads, or relied on family buddy).

At the visit, consult with parents and kids together to discuss what a mediator does, go over guideline (we require their input not their decision) and discuss the need for and limitations of confidentiality. Get approval from the parents in front of the kids for the kids to talk candidly with the mediator.

Meet with the children together to make sure they comprehend why they are consulting with you and let them understand how you’re going to proceed. I discover it useful to consult with all the kids together, then with each child independently, then reconvene with all the children again, then meet with the moms and dads separately or together with the children, depending on the information gathered from the kids. When meeting with each child separately, arrange their coming and going so they are not influenced by each other or their parents.

When conference with a child under 9-10, you might discover it valuable to have some art supplies handy. When they are playing, children typically can reveal themselves more conveniently. After some rapport building, a normal children’s interview might proceed as follows:

  1. Tell the child what Mother and father informed you about him/her (their favorite activities, school subjects, friends, etc), include what the parents stated they liked most about the child (affectionate, imaginative, practical, etc.).
  2. Ask what they like about Mom/Dad (provide for each moms and dad in turn).
  3. Ask if there is anything they do that Mom/Dad do not like.
  4. Ask if there is anything Mom/Dad do that they don’t like (again, do for eac moms and dad in turn).
  5. Ask what Dad/Mom can do to make his/her life simpler today (again, provide for each parent in turn and think about reversing order).
  6. Let them understand you are working with Mother and father on parenting problems and that you require their assistance to make great choices. Make it clear that Father and Mother are choosing and their function is give information (not choices).
  7. Ask about a child’s vacation choices.
  8. Ask if there’s anything they want you to tell Mom/Dad.
  9. Ask if there’s anything that you spoke about that they don’t desire you to tell Mother and father.
  10. Ensure they comprehend what you are going to do with the details they’ve shared. Make plans for a follow-up see, or telephone call.

When the conflict is relating to custody or time-sharing, parents frequently have opposite views of what they believe their kids ask the mediator and desire to talk to the children. The mediator needs to make it clear to the child, or ideally to the moms and dads, that we need input from the child, not choices. If the mediator does not want to talk with the child, and if the moms and dads can not collect input from the child without compromising him or her, a child’s therapist, or a mutually acceptable child advancement professional can frequently speak to what is in that child’s finest interests.

Before talking with children in mediation, the mediator should get an arrangement from the moms and dads concerning the purpose of collecting details from the child. I discover it handy to meet with all the kids together, then with each child separately, then reconvene with all the kids again, then meet with the moms and dads independently or together with the kids, depending on the details gathered from the kids.

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Learn More About MEDIATION From WikiPedia

Mediation is a structured, interactive process where an impartial third party assists disputing parties in resolving conflict through the use of specialized communication and negotiation techniques. All participants in mediation are encouraged to actively participate in the process. Mediation is a “party-centered” process in that it is focused primarily upon the needs, rights, and interests of the parties. The mediator uses a wide variety of techniques to guide the process in a constructive direction and to help the parties find their optimal solution. A mediator is facilitative in that she/he manages the interaction between parties and facilitates open communication. Mediation is also evaluative in that the mediator analyzes issues and relevant norms (“reality-testing”), while refraining from providing prescriptive advice to the parties (e.g., “You should do… .”).

Mediation, as used in law, is a form of alternative dispute resolution resolving disputes between two or more parties with concrete effects. Typically, a third party, the mediator, assists the parties to negotiate a settlement. Disputants may mediate disputes in a variety of domains, such as commercial, legal, diplomatic, workplace, community, and family matters.

The term “mediation” broadly refers to any instance in which a third party helps others reach an agreement. More specifically, mediation has a structure, timetable, and dynamics that “ordinary” negotiation lacks. The process is private and confidential, possibly enforced by law. Participation is typically voluntary. The mediator acts as a neutral third party and facilitates rather than directs the process. Mediation is becoming a more peaceful and internationally accepted solution to end the conflict. Mediation can be used to resolve disputes of any magnitude.

The term “mediation,” however, due to language as well as national legal standards and regulations is not identical in content in all countries but rather has specific connotations, and there are some differences between Anglo-Saxon definitions and other countries, especially countries with a civil, statutory law tradition.

Mediators use various techniques to open, or improve, dialogue and empathy between disputants, aiming to help the parties reach an agreement. Much depends on the mediator’s skill and training. As the practice gained popularity, training programs, certifications, and licensing followed, which produced trained and professional mediators committed to the discipline.

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