Solutions In Mind  

Solutions In Mind

-      Craig Wilkinson      -      Accredited Mediator / Fostering Consultant       -      Tel: 07946 850094      -

Mediation - what all parents should read first

Attitudes are contagious!

This is a brief review of work I have done with a couple, Jack and Jill (obviously I have changed their names to maintain their confidentiality), which will provide mothers and fathers who are considering me as someone who may be able to help them sort out their current difficulties with an insight into my philosophy and how I work.

Jack was unable to have contact with his two children, and blamed Jill for this, believing she had turned the children against him.

When I talked to Jill and the children I felt there were several factors which had resulted in their current situation. I found Jill to be very positive about the children having contact, but she felt she was in a dilemma as she wanted to support the children whilst at the same time trying to encourage them to see their dad.

I informed Jack of my opinion. Unfortunately, Jack was unable to accept this perception as he was convinced Jill was the cause of the current situation.

I attempted to promote Jill’s positive attitude but found Jack very resistant; and I risked ‘losing Jack’ if he felt I was ‘on her side’. I reiterated that I was neutral, but my philosophy was to identify and amplify positive behaviours in the hope that both parents would be able to ‘open their eyes’ to a different perception of their former partner, so I continued to promote positive behaviours I observed.

To cut a long story short, we made a little progress with one child agreeing to see dad on one occasion.

The couple went back to Court and this is the email I got from Jack:

Hi Craig,

Court was very brief and we have been given a further 8 weeks before reporting back with "only positive news".

I am delighted to say we were both amicable and no problems arose - I left feeling happy. I assured the court that I would continue to confide in you for and ask if you would please keep working with us to make things better.

Would you please continue with your great work doing as much as possible ?

Thank you

I replied:

Hi Jack,

Thank you for such a positive email, I got a real sense of positivity from you and hopefully this will have been picked up by Jill.  I used to have a mantra; 'attitudes are contagious - make sure yours is one you would want to catch!'

I am happy to continue as long as my input is seen as constructive and helping to move things forward.  

I would also like to anonymise your email and include it on my website, would that be ok?

Best wishes

To which Jack replied:

Your attitude must be contagious as it has rubbed off onto me thankfully! Thank you for continuing with this. I am more than happy for you to use any example of my case past and moving forward.

Hopefully I will be able to post an update to this case in a couple of weeks / months should the progress made to date continue.

The important message I hope parents take from this short story is if you continue thinking and behaving in the manner that has led you to your current situation things are likely to get worse, not better, as feelings become more entrenched. What I do is not ‘rocket science’ I just try and give each parent a different perception of the other parent, hopefully a change in one person leads to a change in the other and this change leads to further changes, trust develops and this leads to a successful outcome and the children are able to develop positive relationships with both parents and feel safe to talk about the other parent.

Whilst it is not rocket science it is not easy!! It requires a ‘leap of faith’ and having trust in the process; as I say, not easy, when a lot of negativity has passed between the parents.

Remember, if you continue to do what you have always done, you are likely to achieve what you have always achieved! Now might be the time to try something different!

If the time is right for you please get in touch.

Would you like to know more? Click here to contact me.

About Me
Fostering Consultancy
Mediation Consultancy
Mediation - what all parents should read first
Conflict in Contact
Continuum of Conflict
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