Mediation & Counseling Consultants

Child Centered Mediation: Putting Children First

What is Child Centered Mediation

Child centered mediation is a counseling session that is conducted in the presence of both parents and a neutral third party, the mediator. The session is conducted in order to decide upon certain things for the children’s well being. The aim of this mediation is to resolve disputes on how the child must be taken care of by both the parents and how they can help their children cope with the divorce or separation.

Importance of Child Centered Mediation

Child Centered mediation is a somewhat better alternative than going to court. All this can have a negative impact on the child’s mental health. Divorce or separation is not only difficult for the couple but it also takes a toll on the emotional and physical health of a child. It is much more tough and challenging for a child as it is for the parents. Parents who choose to go with Child Centered mediation minimize the negative effects a divorce can bring in a child’s life otherwise. Through this process, parents are more likely to make a better decision regarding their child’s well being and future and agree to work on things in a better way.

Key Aspects of Child Centered Mediation

The purpose of this informative blog is to highlight the key aspects of a Child Centered mediation session.

The session includes:

●  Open communication between both parents

●  Understanding the Child’s developmental needs

●  Creation of a suitable co-parenting plan

The ultimate goal of the session is to create a plan that works for both parents and is suitable for the child as well. The mediation helps to create a positive relationship among parents which ultimately leads to a happier child.

Benefits of Child Centered Mediation

As discussed above, child centered mediation has numerous positive impacts on the mental health of children who are under a lot of distress because of divorce. Let us look at the primary benefits of co-parenting mediation:

Less Stress: Co parenting mediation is less stressful as compared to going to a court for this decision. Instead of going to court and wasting months fighting over your child’s custody, the best option is to opt for child centered mediation and make a better decision yourself.

Faster Resolution: Child custody is a serious matter and when it is taken to courts it takes a lot of time. Co-parenting mediation is a better and quicker process that can help you agree to a common ground in less time as compared to waiting on a judge to do it for you.

Better communication: The process helps to establish effective communication between the parents leading to a smooth running of their co-parenting journey. Thus, establishing a better relationship between both parents with the child.

Agreements: Both parents have equal right to present their point of views. The mediator listens to both of them and help them establish an agreement that includes the requirements of both parents.

Outcome: The outcomes are much better than that of a court generated decision. Both parents are equally involved in the decision and it is made perfectly in accordance with the children’s needs. The process is crucial and thus requires effective dialogue to be established among parents so that they can move on positively rather than having negative thoughts about each other.

Exploring Children’s Perspectives

A. Acknowledging children’s feelings and concerns: It is vital to acknowledge and validate children’s feelings and concerns during decision-making processes involving them. Children should feel heard and considered, and their emotions should be taken into account. This will not only help them feel included and respected but also result in better decisions that are beneficial to all parties involved.

B. Encouraging open dialogue with children about their preferences: It is essential to create an environment where children feel comfortable expressing their opinions and preferences. Encouraging open dialogue will allow them to feel heard and understood, resulting in better decision-making. By taking their preferences into consideration, children can feel empowered, leading to better outcomes.

C. Importance of creating a safe space for children to express themselves: Children should feel safe expressing themselves during the decision-making process. Creating a safe space helps children feel comfortable enough to share their thoughts and feelings, which leads to better communication and understanding. When children feel supported and safe, they are more likely to open up, resulting in better decisions.

D. How involving children in the process can lead to more satisfactory outcomes: Involving children in the decision-making process can lead to more satisfactory outcomes. It enables them to have a say in the decisions that affect them, leading to a sense of ownership and responsibility for the outcome. When children feel like they have a stake in the decision, they are more invested in its success, leading to a better overall outcome for everyone. Furthermore, involving children in the decision-making process promotes their critical thinking skills, independence, and confidence, leading to better decision-making skills in the future.

Transitioning into New Arrangements

A. Preparing children for changes in living arrangements: When a child is faced with the transition of moving homes, it can be a challenging and confusing time for them. As such, it’s essential to prepare children for this change in advance. One way to do this is to educate children on what they can expect during the move. It’s important to explain the reasons for the move, the location of the new home, and what the new living situation will be. This information provides children with a sense of security and helps to ease concerns about the unknown.

Additionally, talking openly with children about their feelings regarding the move is essential. Listening to their worries and addressing their concerns will help them feel heard and valued. It’s important to be honest with them about the difficulties they may face during the move, acknowledging their feelings and finding ways to support them during the transition.

B. Strategies to minimize disruption and anxiety during transitions:
The process of moving can disrupt a child’s daily routine and create feelings of anxiety or uncertainty. However, there are several strategies parents can use to ensure that children feel more comfortable during the transition. For example, creating a visual calendar can help children understand what is happening during the move and give them a sense of control. Additionally, involving children in the packing and unpacking process can help them feel involved and as though they are contributing to the change.

It’s also important to provide a sense of continuity by maintaining typical daily and weekly routines. This can include maintaining regular meal times, scheduled playtimes, and bedtimes. Providing consistency and structure can help children feel more secure, even amidst the chaos of moving.

C. Highlighting the importance of consistency and routine for children’s well-being:
Consistency and routine play key roles in supporting a child’s social, behavioral, and emotional well-being. Predictable routines can provide children with a sense of security, structure, and comfort during unsettling times. This consistency and predictability help to promote healthy sleep patterns, improve mood and behaviors, and reduce aggression and anxiety.

In homes where there have been significant changes, such as a move, preserving these routines can be particularly valuable. Even small changes to a child’s daily routine can be disruptive to their sense of security and sense of normalcy. Therefore, it’s essential to prioritize maintaining routines to help support a child’s ongoing well-being. Consistency in routines and structures provides stability and predictability, which reduce anxiety in children and help them to better adapt to changes.


Child-centered mediation stands as a beacon of hope for families navigating the complex journey of divorce or separation. By placing the well-being and best interests of children at the forefront, parents can work collaboratively to create sustainable solutions that prioritize their children’s emotional and mental health. Through open communication, understanding developmental needs, and crafting effective co-parenting plans, child-centered mediation helps lay the foundation for a positive post-divorce life for both parents and their children.

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