Meet my new friend and guest blogger for this month Holly Birdwell. As a Mediator, Holly offers great advice on helping parents to co-parent…
Three Advantages of Mediation for Co-Parenting
Maintaining healthy relationships after divorce or separation can be challenging for parents and if not done thoughtfully and free of conflict it can cause more harm for the children than the divorce or separation itself. Mediation can help parents transition to a cooperative child-centered co-parenting relationship.
One: Neutral and confidential environment
Mediation provides a neutral and confidential environment for parents to build a positive co-parenting relationship. A mediator will guide the discussion about co-parenting issues, but does not make decisions or take sides. This allows both parents to discuss their positions and interests for their children and find a middle-ground that works for both parties.
Two: Helps co-parents create effective and positive co-parenting plans
Mediation allows co-parents to remain in control and make decisions about custody, scheduling and planning. Maintaining control over these important issues allows co-parents to create plans that fit the needs of all parties involved. When parents maintain control over these important issues it reduces stress for the parties involved and increases the likelihood that both parents will remain focused on the best interest of the children instead of their own personal interests. Mediation also increases the likelihood that both parents will be satisfied with the outcome because they have both contributed equally to developing a parenting plan that is best for their children and accommodates both families’ unique needs. Co-parenting relationships tend to be more successful when both parents make decisions regarding the important issues about their children instead of leaving such matters for a court to decide.
Three: Decreases conflict and increases children’s sense of security
Mediation helps parents learn effective conflict resolution skills to handle parenting issues that may arise. When parents are working together and modeling positive, effective conflict resolution it increases the children’s sense of security, thereby reducing their stress. The divorce process can be a stressful time for children as they tend to blame themselves, it’s important for the parents to work hard to manage conflict in a positive and effective manner, and prevent children from being exposed to conflict. When parents model positive conflict resolution skills it teaches children to be able to handle conflict in a positive manner as well.
How Does Mediation Work?
Co-parenting mediation is focused on helping parents create a child-centered parenting plan that meets the individual needs of each family and promotes a positive, emotionally safe environment in both homes for the children. The mediator guides the parents to focus on the best interest of the children, the mediator also aims to create a healthy co-parenting relationship between the parents, one in which they will learn to manage conflict effectively, find solutions to co-parenting issues and protect the children from exposure to conflict.
Contact Holly Birdwell, CPM at Eagle River Mediation - www.EagleRiverMediation.com
Janice R Love, Author
First Lady, Mom, Stepmom and Divorce Ministry Coach