Whether we expect it to happen or not, our children without any fault can get caught up in a family disagreement or dispute that has been brought about by a Divorce. The information given in this blog is intended at helping parents realize what their children could be going through. Most of the children try to hide their feelings to avoid upsetting their parents which can be eventually very damaging but, can be handled by taking time to understand what they are going through and how they feel about the situation. Attending family mediation after parent separation can prove to be really helpful for children, as it helps parents to focus on the needs of their children or to understand what the child expects and needs after his or her parents head for separation.
The effects of separation on children –
Parental separation can have an adversarial effect on a child’s future. Children are generally represented by their parents during the meditation sessions, but at times children prefer to express their own feelings and expectations to help their parents to come to the best possible arrangements. Our family meditators aim at understanding the changing needs of children as they grow up so that the agreements are built with a degree of flexibility.
Need for the involvement of children in separation –
Separation is a stressful experience for any family and can have a long-term influence on the well-being of both parents and children. Children find it very difficult to cope up with the situation and can be very resistant to change unless the change and the situation is rightly introduced and explained by both parents.
It is common for a child to feel the need to align with a particular parent because he or she is able to sense the anxiety and hurt that each parent is feeling. Divided loyalties of a child can result in a state of confusion, anxiety and anger which can be highly damaging for the overall mental and physical health of the child.
Although, parents might believe that their children share everything with them but, they can feel ashamed and even confused about their thoughts. Other family members and friends would want to help and advice the children but, a child may feel that his or her thoughts and feelings will be passed on to their parents and this can worsen the situation.
Sessions with children –
During family meditation, parents may offer the opportunity of Direct Consultation by providing a written permission stating that our family mediator can speak to the child. The family mediator describes the limitations of confidentiality and assures the child that this is their space and they will decide what is to be conveyed back to the parents. The process of reading and recording is explained so that the child can feel secure that they are in the control of what is to be said to the parents.
The mediator will ask the child about what and how he or she has been thinking and feeling. This information will then be shared with the parents in the following sessions.
Discussions during the mediation sessions are envisioned to support the children during a separation and our family mediators are thoughtful in their responses with no intention to exploit the differences between parents. Our mediators support the conception that both parents have the rights and responsibilities and they are the ones who will eventually make the decision which is best suitable for their children.