Integrating Children in the Mediation Process

Children are directly affected by a divorce or separation of their parents. In such situations, they often experience a range of emotions including anxiety, insecurity, helplessness and feelings of guilt. The fact that the parents – sometimes after periods of bitter arguments and grief – are now working together on a solution for the family and are going to see someone who “knows what they are doing” is often viewed by children as helping to calm the situation and reduce the stress.


There are also a number of ways to integrate children, at least when they have reached school-age, in the mediation sessions in a protected environment and after consultation with the parents. In that way, the children get a chance to make sure that their wishes and needs regarding the issues which are relevant to them are being heard – for example regarding their contact with the parent who is not living with them – and get the feeling that they are being taken seriously.


If you have children and ask for mediation in the context of your separation or divorce, I will discuss with you at the beginning of the session whether and in what form the children could be involved in the mediation process and whether you would want that. Ultimately, it is always up to the parents to decide what is best for them and their children in this situation.