Statement from NFM on Universal Children’s Day, 20 November

 

"The one thing all children have in common is their rights. Every child has the right to survive and thrive, to be educated, to be free from violence and abuse, to participate and to be heard. "
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
 
There is no time in a child’s life when the right to “participate and be heard” and to “survive and thrive” is more necessary than when the child’s parents separate.
 
To survive and thrive
 
In so many ways the child’s ability to ‘survive and thrive’ after a family breakdown is dependent on the attitude of both parents.
 
Are they prepared to put the child’s future interests above the wish to ‘get one over’ on the ex with whom they’ve fallen out? 
 
Do they recognise the need to have a professional, business-type relationship with each other so they make agreements on the money, the property and, most importantly, parenting arrangements. 
 
If this is difficult, will they consider a professional third party helping them to communicate and negotiate with their ex?
 
The family mediation process helps separating parents put their children’s interests first.
 
To participate and be heard
 
And the child’s right to ‘participate and be heard' must mean having a say in charting his or her own future after parental separation. 
 
Children should be at the heart of decisions made in any family, and this shouldn’t change simply because parents decide they can no longer live with each other.
 
As family mediators we are committed to child-inclusive mediation, because experience shows that involving children in mediation can help shift parents’ attention away from the bitterness they feel towards each other, to focus on the child’s future instead.
 
On Universal Children’s Day we repeat our pledge to child-inclusive family mediation, to helping children shape their own future.
 
National Family Mediation 
 

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