This week saw another high profile celebrity couple announce their separation and divorce. The Twitter feeds were full of the news that Gwen Stephani and Gavin Rossdale are to divorce after 13 years of marriage. At MyMediation we were pleased to read, in their jointly released statement, that while they "have come to the mutual decision that we will no longer be partners in marriage, we remain partners in parenthood and are committed to jointly raising our three sons in a happy and healthy environment".
The conflict, uncertainty and change involved in life after separation can have a hugely negative impact on children of any age (for example, parents often notice bed wetting, changes in eating habits, problems at school and increased anxiety). On the flip side, maintaining a good relationship with both parents after separation is hugely beneficial to children.
Even where there is a commitment to bringing up children in a happy and healthy environment, separation causes emotions such as anger and grief which makes communication difficult. Often, even when parents are amicable at the point of separation, the relationship can become more difficult over time, for example when one parent starts a new relationship. So what might Gwen and Gavin do to ensure their commitment to their parenting relationship stays ‘happy and healthy’? Family Mediation is the ideal place for separating couples to make decisions about their children. Mediation encourages communication both between parents and with your children. Family Mediators are skilled at helping you navigate the emotional maze that family breakdown causes. It is a place where you can make decisions about what you want to tell your children and how you will communicate with them about your separation. You decide what the best arrangements are for your children. After all know your children better than anyone else.
At MyMediation we've recently finished working with a couple where mediation helped them to transform their parenting relationship. At the conclusion of the process the both agreed that they would recommend mediation to anyone struggling with parenting after separation and that going forward they know that their son will know that mum and dad both love him even though they are not together as a couple. If you would like to find out more about family mediation and how MyMediation can help you to remain "partners in parenthood", watch our short video, Jack's Story, about a family struggling after separation and how mediation helped.