Children need to see that their parents can get on
All children are affected when their parents separate, no matter what their backgrounds. The difference that parents can make is to the degree of the effect.
Research shows that behavioural problems, peer relationships, achievement in school, self-esteem, social competence and psychological adjustment are among the consequences of parental separation.
When parents choose court, the procedural adversary and negative feelings generated are more likely to trigger these problems. Children see themselves as half of each parent. If their parents are fighting each other, children may feel that their own identity is under attack. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
When parents choose mediation, children benefit. The future well-being of the whole family will be at the heart of the sometimes difficult decisions that need to be made. Children’s needs are at the forefront and parents learn to separate any negative feelings for each other from their parenting roles.
It's not just you who finds co-parenting difficult
When parents live together, they may talk about their children many times over the course of a day. They may discuss eating habits, bed times and which school to choose. They might have conversations about who is going to pick the children up from school, who is going to look after them when a child is ill and can’t go to school, or what presents they think their children might like for their birthdays. These conversations could take place at any time of the day, and may last from a few minutes over the washing up, to something longer.
Courts can't resolve parental conflict
While courts can make orders which determine parents’ parenting time with their children, they can’t order parents to learn what they need to do in order to make these decisions.
Most parents will have the capacity to make their own decisions. But misdirected hostility and an historic reliance on the courts means that when things go wrong, they tend to turn to judges instead of sorting things out for themselves.
Judges will be the first to admit that parents and not them are better qualified people to make these decisions. There is a better way.
Start parenting mediation
At Start Mediation we help parents create their own parenting plans. Separated parents who have lost the opportunity to speak daily about their children, will benefit from finding alternative ways of communicating. Coming to mediation to develop a parenting plan is one of the ways they can do this.
Meeting with a mediator provides an opportunity for parents to listen to each other and to work out how they should behave in any given situation. Knowing what’s expected of them makes it more likely that they will do what’s expected in any given situation. For example, in an emergency, when they meet a new partner or when one of them wants to change the routine arrangements.
Creating a parenting plan with the help of a mediator also allows them to practice and improve their communication. Improved communication can help them learn how to resolve any problem they are likely to face in the future.
What's in a parenting plan
A parenting plan might include the following:
- How to communicate.
- Routine living arrangements.
- Holiday arrangements.
- Other arrangements – celebration days for example.
- Schools and education.
- Pocket money and child support.
- Parenting styles.
- Making future changes as the children’s needs change.
The plan can be written or unwritten, the choice will be yours as parents.
A 6 year old telling her parents how she’d like them to behave.
Let us know what you want
Sundays and Public Holidays: Closed
Registered Office Address
Start Mediation Ltd,
2 Civic Drive,
Company Registration Number
Incorporated in England and Wales as a private company under Company Number 10322756
“Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbours to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser… in fees, expenses and waste of time. As a peacemaker the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough."