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THE NOTION OF CHILD-INCLUSIVE MEDIATION - Essay Example

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This essay is primarily based on critically analyzing the mediation approach of including child during the process of parental conflict based on separation or divorce. This approach definitely has its merits…
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THE NOTION OF CHILD-INCLUSIVE MEDIATION
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THE NOTION OF CHILD-INCLUSIVE MEDIATION

This approach definitely has its merits. Attaching considerable importance to the voice of the child is highly important during mediation processes and leads to reduced conduct problems among children.1 This also facilitates both the parents and the jury to acknowledge in a better way the child’s experiences, concerns, and desires2 and how to design parental responsibilities in accordance with those experiences later. But even after myriad benefits offered by the child-inclusive notion, the opponents of this mediation approach deny its credibility and argue that openly dragging children into the middle of the hot mess created by the parental conflict could inflict a wide variety of deteriorating effects on the raw minds of the young children. This could also make them experience divided loyalties, suffer from anxiety and confusion as they may feel overburdened by offering their opinions.3 In addition to this, a child may feel disappointed when he/she expresses his/her views but realizes later that those views were not listened to.4 This essay aims at contemplating the arguments both in favor and against of child-inclusive strategy by exploring research literature in an attempt to evaluate the credibility of the argument that child-inclusive mediation is flawed and misguided. In order to validate discussion, the relevant research is also presented with special reference to the rights of the child. A growing body of research could be found presently related to the concepts of child-inclusive and child-focused mediation both of which are child welfare oriented strategies but stand in stark contrast to each other in terms of practical procedure. While child-focused intervention encourages parents to address the child’s needs without any direct involvement of the children,5 the child-inclusive intervention includes separate consultation by a specialist with the children.6 Mediation is important because otherwise post-separation court visits, legal affairs, and acrimonious family disputes together inflict a profoundly devastating influence on the minds of innocent children related to aggression, impulsivity, delinquency, depression, peer difficulties, and academic achievement.7 It is further claimed that for about 10% of all divorcing couples, the unremitting animosity will shadow the entire growing up years of their children.8 General consensus is that long-standing, unresolved, and harsh conflicts prove to be highly risky for not only the parents but for the children also9 and it has been repeatedly suggested that family disputes which are tried to be resolved by involving courts take considerably more time than which are resolved through the aid of cost-effective10 mediation. Ineffective communication between parents following separation readily fosters flawed parenting which leaves the child stuck in the middle of chaos11 and it is advised that the quality of parenting provided by both parents following separation and divorce is as important as conflict in determining children’s outcomes.12 Mediation is effective in this regard because not only it seeks to resolve chronically bitter family disputes but also provides opportunities to exit the legal system at the earliest point possible.13 Though the basic aim of child inclusive practice is to enable parents to become bigger, stronger, wiser, and kinder,14 there is much conflict regarding which mediation approach should be used and the issue is hotly debated so as to find out which way would produce least ruthless effects on the children. It is widely believed that the voice of the child is important and should be heard during times of parental ... Read More
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