Family Conflict can range from daily disagreements to navigating separation and divorce proceedings. It is important to understand that Conflict Clarity can support you to navigate your family, from communicating disagreements in a less conflictual and harmful way, to mediating Separation and Divorce agreements. Conflict Clarity expresses a strong desire to have children’s voices heard within the process of relationship change, using child collaboration and child focused mediation conversations.
The formation of the family has changed substantially, and so too has the potential for conflict within the family setting. Many years ago in Ireland, I remember my nana speaking about X and Y down the road, married for thirty years yet had not spoken to each other in twenty years. Brehon Laws in Ireland permitted divorce, but religion overrode this. We are now in a space where divorce is still relatively new in Ireland, but individuals within relationships are unwilling to be in unhappy relationships “till death do us part”.
It is also vital to understand that it is your child’s right to have access (spend time with) both parents -not the other way around. Parenting plans do not revolve around “if you don’t pay maintenance, I won’t let you see little Johnny” It is not acceptable to damage a parent and child’s relationship because a parent feels they can. Depending on the severity of these interactions, this maybe Parental Alienation.
From cases of gender abuse (sexual, emotional physical, financial, psychological etc,) to parents disagreeing about money, household decisions, child rearing, working inside and outside of the home, (until recently and still in some cases, staying at home to rear children was not seen as work)the balancing of household chores, ageing parents, parenting styles, parenting babies, toddlers, teenagers, illness, midlife exhaustion (crisis) and menopause the list of potential pitfalls within the family structures are endless. We have one parent families, same sex parent families, bereaved families, fostered and adopted families, blended and step-families, the traditional family, (and many other constructs) which I believe means the importance of open, truthful and frank communication is an absolute necessity, (age and stage appropriately).
Family conflicts are intergenerational, particularly now with adult children living with ageing parents as they cannot financially afford to get on the property ladder, while navigating intimate relationships and child rearing. It should be significantly easier to be a grandparent than a parent, however, grandparents are now having to step in and up to provide accommodation and childcare. These areas, money and children will always cause disagreements to open conflict. Financial plans and agreements can be put in place to protect the intergenerational relationships.
Some mediators and Women’s and Men’s Aid Groups do not advocate mediation due to the power imbalance. Trained and specialised mediators will take all of the issues into account before making a decision on a case. Stringent safety and screening policies are adhered to. Children’s safety is of paramount importance, always.
Family mediation can provide children (adult children, smaller children or teenagers) whose relationships have become acrimonious between their siblings and parents to have their views heard and grievances aired. Parenting plans, including where appropriate, children’s views, can be taken into account and recounted in a physically and emotionally safe way to parents. A mediated agreement therefore can feel like an inclusive agreement where self-determination encourages successful outcomes.
Family Conflicts can happen because adults in a long-term relationship got married because it seemed to be the “next” thing to do.