What is a Child-Inclusive Mediation?

Child inclusive mediation is such a powerful and effective way of hearing the voice of the child, your child, or children. As parents, we always want the best for our kids, even if sometimes they fail to realise it. Child inclusive mediation helps parents to better understand the wishes and desires of the children. So, is child inclusive mediation right for everyone?

Very often during the mediation process, it is the parents who make decisions about their children, however, for many, the messages they get back for the children can be conflicting. Naturally, children want to please both parents for most of the time and this often ends up with mixed messages. We see this happen, particularly when decisions are needed about who a child lives with or the amount of contact, they have with each parent. The message that may come back suggests the child is saying they want to live with both parents. This is an ideal scenario for considering child inclusive mediation. The process is very straight forward.


The Process for Child Inclusive Mediation

Your mediator will often suggest you consider including the children in the mediation process. This does not mean, that they will sit in the same room as you discuss the wellbeing and future arrangements, quite the opposite. Parents must both be in agreement before a child is invited into the mediation process. Also, your mediator will want assurances, beforehand, that any feedback from the child is taken seriously and acted upon where practical to do so, otherwise, the child will have been through the process and at the end, may feel as though they have not been listened to.

Care is taken by family mediators who are specially trained to work with children, to ensure the child is fully engaged in the process. Once the parents agree for their children to become part of the process, an invitation is sent to the child, inviting them to come and talk to a mediator. Once they have accepted the invitation, a consultation is arranged and normally one of the parents will bring the children along to meet the mediator.

The process of talking to the mediator is very gentle and friendly. The same level of confidentiality is afforded to the child as it is to their parents. The family mediator will very rarely ask direct questions but rather engage in conversation and talk to them about how they feel about certain aspects of their living arrangements or contact with one or other of their parents. It is the aim of the mediator to uncover the real wants and desires of the child. Sessions normally last around 45 minutes and at the conclusion, the child is asked what they are happy to be fed-back to their parents. They are also asked if they would like to feedback themselves or if they would prefer the mediator to feedback on their behalf. It is often the latter, which happens, as we believe the child may not wish to upset either or both parents, especially where their desires don’t match that of one of the parents.

Parents and the mediator alike will want to hold the feedback session with the parents as soon as possible, as this can help alleviate any anxieties by the child awaiting reaction from a parent, so, most feedback sessions are held on the same day where this is practicable.


Contact us for Child Inclusive Mediation

If you would like to arrange a child-inclusive mediation with our family mediators, then please get in touch to book an appointment today. We are now offering online mediation sessions to keep everyone safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Call us on 0330 113 0005 or you can send us an email here.

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