Dear Lea, I am not Dr. Coleman but I don't think he answers on here. I might ask you whose idea the mediation is? If it is your idea, I am not sure mediation is the best thing and might be something to really think about and perhaps find another way. Sometimes we assume that another person can get our EC to do Blank, or act Blank, when we can not. That some "Authority Figure" like a mediator will talk sense into our EC. Probably not. When our EC are blamers and users or are manipulative, this is just more power to their blame, use, or manipulation. I wonder if your EC is really even willing to work hard, as you say? What might be more helpful is family counseling. A mediator just works out legal type agreements between parties and if your EC isn't willing to bend or consider your point of view, family counseling might be better. But counseling only works if people want it to work and it might take several sessions to even get to some kind of understanding. Be prepared that the only understanding you might get is how much you are willing to try and the EC are not. Many of our EC want to keep things the same as far as how they treat their folks or how they react to mom or dad. It takes two to tango, two to change and it has to be with mutual respect. There is no right or wrong to who pays or how it is paid but I would say, think this through carefully and don't assume mediation or counseling is the magic bullet that will fix the estrangement.
Dear Dr Coleman,
I would like your opinion on whether you feel it is a good idea for a parent to offer to pay for mediation costs with their estranged adult child if the child holds a "good" job. I wonder if the child will work as hard as they might if they were paying their share of the cost? I know this is looked upon as a goodwill gesture by the parent but I still grapple with it.
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