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How you Approach a Disagreement Matters

Separation is challenging, going through a separation during a pandemic can be more challenging. If you are like many of the families I have worked with over the last several months you are no doubt managing a considerable level of stress.

While the pandemic has impacted everyone, it has impacted some families more than others. It is not surprising that a family where one or both parents have lost their job (or now have a reduced income), work on the front lines or have different risk tolerances have a few more hurdles to get over.

In my role as a mediator I am continually impressed with how resilient the people I work with are and to bring out their creativity and resourcefulness is really important. This resourcefulness is much more likely to occur when both parents are willing to approach or frame the circumstance of the pandemic as the adversary and not the other parent. The other parent is the counterpart that is struggling with some aspect of the same problem. When parents can work together to solve the problem together they are both better off.

If you are having difficulty making decisions with your spouse or co-parent try to focus on discussing options that might work. This will often decrease conflict and also increases acceptance of the outcome because both parents were involved with the decision making. It is also helpful when both parents understand the need for mutual satisfaction and that their personal best case scenario is not the goal – sometimes the goal is something you can live with.