Divorce Mediation: Making decisions

Divorce Mediation

Divorce Mediation: Decision-making that suit you and others.

Divorce and separation is a stressful time.  Making important decisions can be difficult.  Divorce Mediation can help ease this.  In fact, the basic purpose of divorce mediation is to help people make sound decisions.

Have you ever made an “impulse purchase”?  Made a decision that really didn’t make any sense?  Of course you have; we all have.  Lots of research out there suggests a reason for this.  It seems that humans are more likely to make decisions based on their “emotions”, rather than “logic”.  This is based on neuroscience research into how the human brain works.  I won’t go into a lot of detail.  Research tells us that during the decision-making process, how we feel about things usually takes control before we can how we think about things can take over.  This probably goes back to our basic survival instinct.

Negative emotions, such as fear or anger are powerful.  But no more powerful than love or happiness.  The question is; how to best control these emotions so that correct decisions can be made.  Here are a few suggestions.

  1. Take a short break.  Don’t be pressured.  Very few decisions need immediate response.  Allow yourself walk away.  To think.  You can always come back.
  2. Focus on what you need….not what you want.  Ask yourself important questions.  Why do I want to make this decision?  What is the worst thing that could happen if don’t make this decision?  What’s the best thing?  Is there a better option?  Is this decision in the best interest for me, or for everyone?
  3. Identify your emotions. What are you feeling at this moment?  Making a decision to spite someone else is just as dangerous as making a decision to make yourself feel better.  Having emotions is natural.  We are suppose to have emotions.  But it is important to accept these emotions and be responsible for them.  Emotions are only part of the decision.  Emotions should not be the only reason.  There needs to be logical reasons as well.

Remember when facing important decisions, separate emotional thoughts so you can focus on logical thoughts. Once you have clarified your logical thoughts, then you can add your emotions.  If both your logical and emotional thoughts are in balance: then you have made the correct decision.



Parent/Child Relationship: Make that connection

A healthy parent/child relationship can be a parent’s greatest treasure. My daughter and I have always had a good relationship.  That’s not to say we’ve had disageements, or did not see eye to eye.  But we were always able to connect.  I believe this was because we always tried to do thing together.  This Father’s Day we did something a little “extra special.”

A couple years ago, as I neared retirement I decided that I would do something that I had wanted to do for a long time.  I decided to take lessons and learn the guitar.  I thought that playing guitar would give me that “something to do” during the day.  It did, and it does.  Another benefit quickly appeared.  Much to my surprise and excitement.

Early on my daughter took singing lessons.  She discovered that she had a voice and enjoyed singing.  So I thought; “I should do something with her.”  The idea grew.  With the help of my guitar teacher I learned “Songbird”, the old Fleetwood Mac song.

Practicing and preparing for our performance was a highlight.  We shared so many things.  We laughed. We shared ideas.  We talked.  We were connected mentally and emotionally.  We shared a common purpose.  It made me think and remember all those other times that we shared events.  I also remembered that most of these events did not happen by accident.  They were planned.  What did I learn about creating a healthy parent/child relationship?

  1. Look for opportunities.  Be aware.  Make finding events to share a priority.
  2. Be willing to move out of your comfort zone.  Being out of your (and your child’s) comfort zone can be scary.  But it can also create great learning.  A moment of shared accomplishment.
  3. It’s not about you.  By sharing activities with your child(ren), they will reveal themselves.  Their interests, abilities and personality.
  4. Celebrate.  Tell your child(ren) how you experienced the event.  Let them know how you felt.  Use the moment to look for other opportunities.  Encourage your child(ren) to suggest future events.

Sharing activities will create lifelong memories for both of you.  It will bring you together.  It will strengthen the relationship.  It can be a reminder when things go a “little south”.

Maybe we have Father’s Day backwards.  Rather than doing things for father; father should be doing things for their child(ren).  Just a thought.


Divorce Mediation: The needs of children

Divorce Mediation

Divorce Mediation; Helping your children get through it.

Divorce Mediation can assist parents help their children through divorce.  Much has been written about how divorce can have a negative impact on children.  I suspect we can all agree on this. Maybe it’s not so much the divorce that’s important.  It’s what happens after the divorce!  What can co-parents do to help children deal with the situation?  Divorce Mediation may help.  I would like to offer some ideas.

Children of divorce; Where can we start?

I think we can start with some “truths” about children.  Is is very important to understand one thing before you read further.  These are “guidelines”.  They are not absolute “truths”.  These are starting points from where you begin your journey with your child(ren).  Each child is their own person they will have their own strengths and weakness.  So, where do we start?

  1. Each child is unique.
  2. They will be upset.
  3. Children can survive divorce.
  4. How parents handle the divorce is critical.

What is important here is to understand is the importance of parents and co-parenting.  Children will deal with divorce/separation in their own way.  Being upset is natural.  Your child may be upset for a period of time.  Perhaps more than a year.  Patience is important.  How well the child handles divorce will depend on how well parents handle their divorce.

Divorce and children; What have we learned.

There is much research that supports the notion that children can be resilient.  Here are some things to keep in mind if you are divorcing/separating and have children.

  1. During divorce, children will feel many things: anger, rejection, surprise, unhappiness.  They NEED to be listened to.  They NEED to be encouraged to express themselves. If not to you, then to a professional.
  2. Children can feel isolation if their needs are not tended to.  When parents are too busy in arguments
  3. Expect your children’s behavior to change……..for a period of time.
  4. Keep your children out of the “middle”.  Your conflict involves the other parent…….not your child(ren).
  5. Keep negative comments about the other spouse away from children.
  6. Discuss and explain to your child(ren) about changes in their lives.

My main message to parents, and for the child(ren) for that matter is this.  The family unit is still there.  There is a mother, father, brothers and sisters.  The family exists.  It just looks a little different than before.  Therefore, it needs to function a little differently.  However, some things remain the same.  Children need to feel loved, secure, attached to the family unit.  Even if the unit is separated, on an emotional level the family is still there.