The one question I ask parents who are separating

December 13, 2016

Parents walk down road with toddler daughter

One thing I tell parents beginning their separation mediation process is that they have an opportunity here for their children.
Separation and divorce are very common.
Relationships change in this way all the time.
And there’s a reasonable chance that one or more of the clients’ children will also face this same journey of separation. So if they do this well, they have the opportunity to give their kids a template for how to do it respectfully and honourably.

A colleague once told me one of the questions they ask their clients: “What do you want your kids to think about five, ten or fifteen years from now about this time of their life while their parents were going through their separation?”.
I almost always ask separating parents this same question now, painting the picture even fuller:
Do you want the kids to think it was a total train wreck, and have that as their memory?
Or would you rather the kids look back and remember that mom and dad couldn’t stay together, but were respectful to each other, and loved and took care of their kids well?
There’s clearly a big difference for parents going through separation and divorce.
It’s about legacy and making something good out of something that’s difficult.

Just one more way the mediation process encompasses all dimensions of your separation, including your children.



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