Tips for Mediation Issues Related to Grade School-Age Children
Divorcing couples with children have a variety of issues they must consider that couples without children do not. These issues can change or evolve based on the age of the children in question.
For couples who have grade school-aged children, there are some particular issues they will need to confront as part of their mediation discussions. Here are a few issues and tips to take into account in such scenarios.
Maintaining consistency with communication and information
Elementary school-aged children are not yet at a point in their development where they can truly understand the dynamics of adult relationships and a divorce process. Therefore, both parents must discuss and agree during their mediation sessions about what they will and will not tell their children, and how they will do so.
While it is important to tell children about a divorce, the children do not need to know the specific reasons why you are divorcing. It is also important to avoid talking negatively about the other parent in front of the children. Young children can be easily influenced, or put into a position where they feel responsible for the divorce or guilt for feeling affection for one parent when the other talks poorly of them.
Spend some time discussing appropriateness of certain types of conversations and communication and make sure you both follow the guidelines you set consistently.
Ensuring consistent schedules for parenting time
Children in grade school are still young enough where they will go along with most types of parenting schedules so long as there is consistency and predictability. It is important for children to have a sense of routine so they know when they are spending time with each parent.
Parents must commit to sticking to those schedules to limit turbulence in the child’s life as much as possible. The schedule should work well for both the parents and the children. The schedule can always be revisited if circumstances and needs change.
For more information about mediating child custody issues, contact an experienced Long Island attorney at Solutions Divorce Mediation.