Conflicts, both large and small, are bound to occur in every family. Something small can easily snowball into a real argument and, at times, even lead to people severing all contact.
Conflicts within a family can arise when dividing an inheritance or because of old pain between family members. Or because a divorce has sown the seeds of division. For parents especially it can be hard when their (adult) children quarrel. After all, parents – regardless of their age – are unwilling to choose one child over the others, as a result of which birthdays or other family gatherings can present awkward dilemmas.
Another issue that often produces conflict is how to share and divide the burden of caring for a loved one. At times, a parent may have a dying wish to pass away knowing that there is at least a modicum of respectful contact between their offspring.
In family businesses many issues can crop up that cause a lot of turmoil and conflict. Succeeding someone’s position in the family business, selling off the company, or even just the day-to-day running of it can all be contentious issues. This applies to commercial companies but equally to agricultural family businesses.
Conflicts within families are generally complicated. There are several parties involved and there is a shared history where small seeds of contention have been sown, which are then at the root of the present conflict.
The goal of family mediation is to discuss the situation and resolve the conflict. After all, disagreements and the stress that ensues are unpleasant for everyone involved As a rule, we have family mediations take place at a neutral location that is easily accessible for everyone. This provides a level playing field from which to start. In family mediations, we always work with two mediators.
Divorce can be an extremely painful process. Particularly when there are children. Apart from the obvious financial and legal matters, emotions feature heavily. As a family you are in an disturbing situation which has serious repercussions on how people communicate with each other. Choosing to heighten the sense of divisiveness in a court ‘battle’ simply means that one of you will lose and the other one wins. In effect, though, you will all lose out, and that includes the children.
What sets mediation apart is that there are no losers. Our mediators try not to let mistakes, blame and causes dominate the discussion, but instead to look for the patterns in your behaviour in which you have become entangled. The starting point is to find a solution that you can both agree on and support. Together, you and your partner will remain in control.
Children and divorce
If you have children, you will reach a mutual decision on how to structure your contact with them. After all, as parents you know best what is good for the children and as a result what is best for yourself too. Moreover, as parents you set the example for the children. Even, or especially, in times of turmoil.
Drawing up a parenting plan is part of the divorce procedure and the agreements you have made together will be recorded there.
Children usually have lots of questions about their parents’ divorce but often hesitate to ask these questions. If the children are slightly older (from around 10 years old), one of the options is for the mediators to have a conversation with them, with or without the parents present. This provides a safe environment where the children feel comfortable enough to ask their questions
For children and adolescents we highly recommend the Vila Pinedo site as a highly informative and supportive resource.
Parents who use our services to handle their divorce get access to the free online course “To all divorced parents” by Villa Pinedo. Just ask your mediator for the login details
We are happy to provide you with a parenting plan template.
If you would like to read more about divorce, emotions, stress and children, do check out our blogs about family issues (in Dutch only)
- Allebei even lief (adorable picture book about divorced parents)
- Papa mama lijm (toddler goes looking for glue to stick his parents back together)
- Dag Papa, tot volgende week (picture book about divorced parents)
- Het vergeten beertje (picture book)
- Woestijnmama, diepvrieszus en ik (about worries and fears children have during divorce)
- Kamil de groene kameleon (Kamil heeft een blauwe vader en een gele moeder die steeds meer ruzie krijgen)
- Bang boos en blij (a self-help book for if your parents are divorced)
- Ik & Co (book for divorced parents with young children)
- Ik & Zo (book for children with divorced parents )
- Julia heeft 2 huizen (stories for children with divorced parents)
- Dees, een vader en een viool (about all the things that can happen when your parents get divorced)
- Ouders in het wild (Fleur and her step-family)Niemand mag het weten (for when your parents are fighting)