Communication is the Key to Successful Mediation
"To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others". Tony Robbins. One of the things I love about mediation is the way in which it has opened me up to differences in the manner in which we think. To be successful as both a mediator, and as a participant in mediation, we must make ourselves see the other participants' points of view. Only then can we all begin to create solutions that take into account each party's needs and interests. I think this is so important to the success of the process, that as part of the mediation process I provide couples with "communication guidelines" that will help them through mediation and also continue to guide their communication in a positive manner through their co-parenting relationship. Divorce mediation establishes a foundation for continued cooperation that will allow you to craft your own post-divorce arrangements, using positive problem solving techniques.
It's Not About the Nail!
What Should We Tell the Children?
I am often asked by participants what they should tell the children. I like to discuss the parenting plan at the first session, if possible, since both parties are usually anxious about how their time with the children will be structured. The separation of their parents is a significant life changing event for children and they worry about how it will effect them. Children are often caught in the middle between two parents whom they dearly love. The sooner you are able to arrive at a parenting plan, and put their fears at ease, the better for their emotional well-being. I provide my mediation participants with a twenty-five page booklet written by Joan B. Kelly, Ph.D., a well respected child psychologist that specializes in children's adjustment to divorce. I am convinced that if parents can co-parent together peacefully they will minimize any negative impacts to their children caused by their separation and divorce. I can also provide referrals to child specialists, if needed.