Family hardship can be an all-consuming reality and one that feels like it only exacerbates when addressed by all parties no matter what the original intention might have been. There are truly no winners when a family strikes discord, but you can mitigate the damage and get beneficial outcomes by taking part in productive family mediation. If you find yourself on a turbulent path and want to turn things around, let’s discuss family mediation and when to recognise that it’s time to start.
When contact is no longer constructive
This is an easy sign to identify, as family disputes can reach a point where there is no positive or constructive dialogue and subsequently no path forward. You must engage in family mediation at this point so that you and your family members can learn and implement techniques that move you forward and away from the negative place you have found yourself. This negative dialogue signals that all parties are not ready or still harbouring feelings of hurt, distrust, fear and anger. Family mediation is also guided by professionals who can navigate these sentiments and allow both sides to see the bigger picture, and create a collective empathy. This should be your goal for family mediation.
If there are children in the picture
Regardless of how good a parent you both are to your child or children, there comes a time when family mediation is necessary. You don’t want your little ones to feel the stressful impact of these uncertain times, and you don’t want your behaviour to colour their opinion or feelings toward you or the other parent in this equation, no matter how ugly things get. Family mediation will not only articulate the issues that are present, but they will be able to help both parties see that the priority should be to keep peace and consistency with the children. These decisions might not favour your position or desires, so try to keep a subjective mindset through this process for the sake of your child.
To reduce the psychological impact
A dispute of any kind can occupy a mind, and be a huge barrier that keeps you from moving forward in your life and gaining a sense of normalcy. Family mediation will not only accelerate and then resolve the stages of this dispute, but it allows you to voice your feelings to a professional who is trained in providing support, perspective and tools to help you through this ordeal. This is particularly important if you were a twosome and now on your own, and not only is the person you used to talk to not there, they are in fact the person who is causing this grief. Family mediators also level the playing field in your family, so there is no one person calling the shots or dictating the terms, which can be a relief in many family units who have a dominant individual among them.
To ready yourself for the next steps
Unfortunately for some, family mediation is just the beginning of the journey, usually then leading to legal proceedings and bigger decisions. How long this takes and how much money is spent on lawyers and proceedings will depend on how your family mediation goes, so don’t skip this crucial step and try to reach a resolution and respect here before you enter a new arena. If you can air most of these issues and commit to subsequent plans, every party will get what they need from this process and can proceed with the next steps with a fresher perspective and a sense of unity.
Whatever brings you to family mediation, you will get the outcome you are after and you might even get a few other benefits you hadn’t planned for. Choose the right family mediator that is not aligned to either party or resolution, and start to bring some peace and patience to these circumstances.