Miriam Galindo, PsyD, works with clients out of her private practice in Irvine, California. She provides psychological counseling for children and families undergoing child custody evaluations. Dr. Miriam Galindo’s goal is to provide healthy solutions for family reunification and co-parenting.
The way in which parents tell their children about an upcoming interview with a mediator can impact the validity of children’s statements. Children are likely to assume that they are being asked to choose which parent they love more. This situation may result in anxiety because of the forced conflict of loyalty.
Before setting an appointment with children, the mediator must emphasize the importance of the wording used when expressing the request for the interview. It is also important for parents to know that mediators are trained to spot instances in which children have been influenced to say something in favor of either parent.
It is best to explain to children what the purpose of the mediator is, why the mediator is there, and what he or she can do to help the family, not just one parent. When children are presented with an unbiased explanation, they feel calmer and more confident about talking to a professional about their feelings and views about the separation or divorce.