Many parents going through a separation are concerned about the impact on their children. Mediation for families can involve a ‘CIM’ Child Inclusive Mediation to improve the outcome.
Children often find it difficult to speak with their Mum & Dad about things that worry them or about how they think the future might work best for them.
They are frequently worried about upsetting their Dad & Mum, yet parents generally want to do what is best for their child(ren) and what works for them. Having a better idea of the child(ren)’s thoughts & feelings, to inform their decisions, can be really helpful.
At the start of the mediation process, each parent has an individual meeting with the mediator. Then the child(ren), with the consent of both parents, can be invited to have their own individual, confidential time with the mediator.
The Mediator will be clear that the child(ren) will not be making the decisions but that Mum & Dad have agreed to take their thoughts and feelings into account when making their decisions.
The role of the mediator is to help the child(ren) to express themselves and to deliver those thoughts and feelings to the parents, to be used as part of the decision-making process. The feedback, which has been agreed with the child(ren), will be shared with the parents at their next joint session.
Evidence shows that when child(ren) are part of the decision-making process they accept the changes better and are able to settle more quickly, which has less effect on them at school and in their day-to-day lives
It can also help to reduce parental conflict as the parents feel they are working together to create something effective for the whole family. Overall, this reduces concern about the impact of the situation on the child/children.
The Family Mediation Service at Calm Mediation offers the child’s/children’s session free of charge. They can choose if our support dog Lola joins their meeting. In our experience, children are delighted to be told that they are important and that they have a voice in what happens next. Our CIM mediator, Ursula Little, has plenty of experience, having sessions with children once or twice each month.
Each meeting in our mediation process can take place in person, (at our Southwark office), or online by zoom video call.
To find out more, contact our Family Team directly on 0300 102 3033 or email email@example.com.