At Prism Mediation we are champions of #lifelongparenting and assist many couples in reaching an agreement when they separate that have the needs of their children in primary focus. We firstly assist parents in establishing a coherent narrative for their children as to why their parents are separating. This is an often forgotten step and it is crucial that children hear the same message from both of their parents. The secondary aspect is to provide an environment to allow parents to communicate and make the difficult decisions they need to over what the precise arrangements will be for their children.
Depending on your circumstances we are able to offer what is known as child inclusive mediation. Your child would meet our specially trained mediator (who is also a social worker) who is able to listen to their views and thereafter relay them to you. This will only be offered if both parents agree and we consider that it is appropriate, taking into account your child’s age and understanding.
We have found that children who have been afforded the chance to give their views to a neutral party about their wishes and feelings when their parents separate describe a sense of relief. The meeting can also allow them to:
process the change in their circumstances;
understand that they are not alone;
explore their thoughts and feelings;
permit them to develop methods of talking to their parents.
We can then feedback you during mediation what your child’s thoughts and wishes have been. Most parents find this a reassuring process as it can provide confirmation that they are both providing what their child needs at this difficult time. On occasions it provides a reality check for parents and provides a springboard for constructive discussion.
Child inclusive mediation is not always appropriate and depends entirely on the circumstances of you family. We can discuss with you the other ways of obtaining the wishes and feelings of your children.