Do you Hear your Child??? Almost as important, does your attorney hear your child?????

Mindful Co-parenting

I attended a training yesterday on “Child-Centered Mediation.”  The most helpful tool from the day was a “parent readiness scale” used to measure a parent’s readiness to “hear” their child.  The scale includes factors such as parents’ insight into themselves, parents’ sensitivity, parents’ ability to allow their child to have different emotions than their own, parents’ ability to separate their adult conflict from their children.  It was an enlightening training on children and their feelings – many of which go completely unnoticed by not only the parents but by the professionals working with the parents. In one moving video referred to as the “boy at the end of the driveway” , a young boy was asked to get out of his dad’s car at the base of his long driveway if his Dad thought the Mom’s new boyfriend was at her house.  The young boy in the video broke down uncontrollably describing his lonely walk up the driveway. As the dad likely struggled with his own emotional pain, he failed to see the pain that his actions were causing his son.

We professionals often create “great parenting plans” to avoid contact and thus, conflict but we (me included) sometimes fail to consider the impact of those plans on the children involved and their very real feelings.  I will no longer write a parenting plan without contemplating the child’s feelings during each and every transition as well as in each schedule proposed.  A parenting plan is as much about the residential schedule as is it about children’s feelings.  We professionals need our own “readiness scale” on whether we can “hear” the children’s voices in the families we work with to create these plans.  The old adage that “children shall be seen and not heard” has been wiped from almost all professional circles except family law – arguably the arena that impacts fragile children the most.  We family law professionals have not only a professional duty to do a better job in this area but an ethical duty, in my opinion, to do no harm to the families we are privileged to help. 

What does your readiness scale look like – can you hear the children?


Subscribe to our newsletters

Subscribe to one or more of our newsletters, delivering meaningful insight on topics that matter to you and your family.
ebl home subscribe image


Latest Blog Posts

Unsure where to begin gathering the foundation you need to go through the divorce process with confidence and well-prepared? Consider the following 10 tips to prepare for divorce.

Everyone who has anyone in their life needs an estate plan, even people who own little or no property.

A common question about legal fees is why they are so high. The following article details what is built into legal fees and explains their cost.

Gifting an estate plan is an act of love because an estate plan goes far beyond material possessions, addressing the emotional, practical, and long-term well-being of your loved ones.

Prenuptial agreements (also known as prenups) can play a pivotal role in safeguarding individual spousal rights in the event of divorce and can also strengthen a marriage.

Valentine’s Day can be tricky for single parents, maybe even you. Unpartnered, at least for the time being, you might not foresee your plans fitting into conventional images of the holiday. But that doesn’t have to be. Valentine’s Day, when you’re single, can be more than a day you need to survive. It can be a day to look forward to.

Collaborative law has evolved into a globally practiced
discipline, extending well beyond the realm of family law, and is used frequently in Seattle divorces.

Classifying January as divorce month could be misleading, given how some of the numbers tell a different story. However, one thing remains clear: January is a great time for a fresh start.

A family law attorney can help with child custody (residential time) by creating or modifying a parenting plan.

Given the importance of the trustee’s role in an estate plan, it is necessary to understand the responsibilities before choosing a trustee or accepting the obligation to become one.