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Advice to Parents

If you are going through a dissolution of your relationship and children are involved, I invite and strongly urge all parents to become child focused. There are 2 wonderful websites for parents, one for parents who are married and one for parents who are not. I strongly believe that a visit to the appropriate website and participation in the exercises will provide enlightenment and assistance in planning a better future for you and your children. For your convenience and prior to your mediation with me I have provided a link to my intake form which I would like you to complete before our first meeting.

Mediation Intake for Parents in a Family Case
Intake form for parents.

I agree with the authors and creators of this website that parents who want to build a better future for their children and themselves must negotiate at least 12 paradigm shifts in how you think:

  1. Maybe this isn’t a competition between us, but instead the ultimate call to cooperation.
  2. Maybe our issues aren’t so much legal as personal, emotional and parental.
  3. Maybe our love for our children will be a better guide for us than our legal rights or litigation.
  4. Maybe we have been so consumed with our own hurt and fear that our children’s needs have become invisible to us.
  5. Maybe our children are suffering as a result of our conflict- and in ways we haven’t noticed.
  6. Regardless of what they say to appease each of us, maybe what our children really want and need is a predictable, restrained, and courteous relationship between their parents.
  7. Instead of being threatened by my children’s good relationship with their other parent, maybe I actually have a vital interest in supporting those relationships.
  8. Maybe my failure to acknowledge and deal with my grief has helped drive our conflict.
  9. Maybe we can succeed only by partnering to protect our children.
  10. Maybe our children require us to have even better cooperation now that we are separated.
  11. Maybe my co-parent’s slips are reason for me to be heroically restrained, not to add to conflict.
  12. Maybe the failure of our intimate/marital relationship is no predictor of failure in our co-parenting.