The emotional toll that the breaking up of a family can take on both parents and children can be incredibly devastating. This is why most families, whenever possible, choose to avoid going to court and would rather enter mediation processes in order to come up with mutual resolutions to family matters.
Mediation too can be an incredibly stressful experience, especially if parties are not amicable or pleasant with one another. This is why it is so important that families prepare themselves for mediation to the best of their ability. In today’s article, we have a look at how individuals can prepare themselves for family mediation, so read on to find out more!
Agree To Be Present
Mediation cannot occur if all parties are not present. This is why it is important that parents communicate with one another and try to remain as amicable as possible in order to follow through with the mediation process. If for some extenuating circumstance where one party is unable to be physically present at the mediation, it is always advised that teleconferencing and virtual communication be the next step taken in order to proceed with mediation.
Have An Action Plan
Mediation requires both parties to ensure that they have a plan in mind. With enough luck, both parties’ plans will complement the others. This is why both parents have to decide prior to mediation on issues such as parenting arrangements, finances, who picks the children up after school, who gets them on the weekends and so on and so forth. It is incredibly important that both parents come to a mutual understanding and agreement about these issues, in order to reduce the amount of stress not just on themselves but also on the entire family unit. The whole reason for mediation is to find a solution for co-parenting – and one that works for everyone in the family.
Practice Healthy Communication
We get it – things are heated and you may not be on the best terms with your partner. However, it is so important that you still try your best to communicate healthily. Snide remarks or tone will not get you anywhere, and may even make the mediation process more difficult than it has to be. It is always recommended that parents stay away from aggressive tactics, blackmailing, victimizing themselves or game playing. Most mediators will be able to see through such tactics, and it may even result in your loss at the end of the day.
Listen, Listen, Listen
Listening is so much more important than people realize. Often, we listen to respond, instead of just listening to listen. This is a piece of advice that can truly change the way your mediation process goes. Listening to the other party instead of constantly being on the defense or feeling attacked is key if you’re looking for mutual ground. Compromise is essential, and listening to the other party’s reasoning behind certain compromises is vital.
Have Emotional Support
Lastly, having a good support network behind you is incredibly important during this trying time in your life. Emotions may be at an all-time high, and not having the adequate support and care from friends and family may prove to tip you over the edge. Always try to manage your emotions well, even if that means visiting a counselor or therapist if you have to. Ensure that you are not bottling any emotions up and that you share your concerns with the ones closest to you.
Mediation doesn’t have to be a complete disaster – with adequate planning, consideration and compromise, the family unit will be able to come to mutually beneficial resolutions that will provide a sense of security and comfort for all involved.