Child-inclusive family mediation: the benefits for children

child inclusive family mediation benefits children

Child-inclusive family mediation is a form of parenting mediation or family dispute resolution that involves children in the conflict resolution process. This can be especially useful in family law cases where children’s well-being and best interests are a primary concern.

What benefits does child-inclusive mediation offer for children?

Expressing thoughts and feelings

Children are often affected by their parents’ conflicts and may have thoughts and feelings about the situation. Child-inclusive family mediation allows children to have a voice in the resolution process and can help them feel heard and understood, whilst also explaining to them that they do not have to be the decision-maker – that is a job for their parents.

Child-inclusive family mediation can provide children with the opportunity to express their feelings and concerns in a safe and non-threatening environment. Children may feel more comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings with a neutral third-party social worker rather than with their parents, who they may see as the source of the conflict. This can help your children to feel more heard and validated in the process.

Problem-solving and communication skills

Additionally, child-inclusive family mediation can also help children to develop important communication and problem-solving skills. By participating in the process, children learn how to express themselves clearly and effectively, and how to work with others to find mutually beneficial solutions. These skills can be beneficial to children in all areas of their lives, not just in the context of their parents’ conflicts.

Parents understanding their perspective and needs

Child-inclusive family mediation can help parents understand their children’s perspectives and needs. By involving children in the process, parents may gain a deeper understanding of how their conflicts are impacting their children and can work together to find solutions that take their children’s needs into account. Sometimes parents need to hear what their children feel unable to tell them directly (or they don’t believe when the other parent tells them, so need to hear it from someone independent).

Preserving parent-child relationships

By involving children in the process, parents may be more likely to reach a resolution at mediation that is in the best interests of their children, presented from an independent perspective, rather than focusing solely on their own needs and wants. This can help to preserve relationships between parents and children, and can also help to promote a healthier and more positive co-parenting relationship in the future.

Reducing the effects of conflict

Child-inclusive mediation can help reduce the negative effects of conflict on children. By finding a resolution that is satisfactory to both parents and children, this form of family mediation can help reduce the stress and anxiety that children may experience as a result of their parents’ conflicts. It avoids the matter going to the Federal Circuit and Family Court and being decided by a judge, who will never meet the children, and the process can take years.

In conclusion, child-inclusive family mediation can offer a variety of benefits for children, including helping them to feel heard and understood, reducing the negative effects of conflict, and promoting healthy relationships between parents and children. While it may not be appropriate in every case, it can be a valuable tool for resolving conflicts in a way that takes children’s needs and best interests into account.

A child-inclusive process is not appropriate in every family law mediation. It is important to consider the child’s age, maturity, and ability to participate in the process. It may not be suitable for very young children but in those situations, we offer child-focused mediation.

Learn more about child-inclusive family mediation

Contact us to book a free Discovery Call to discuss whether the child-inclusive process is right for your family, or read more about our child-inclusive mediation process.

We also recommend watching the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia’s video Separate Smarter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *