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Conflict Preparedness For Youth- Are We Just Hoping They Will Learn These Skills?
Sep 10th, 2015 by Families First Mediation

Teaching youth to better manage conflict are not skills that are being taught, unless there has already been a problem. We are reactive. Are these skills that we hope young people gain through life experiences and by watching us adults model them. Is hope enough? Let’s be proactive about teaching these skills instead.

I was recently on a radio show discussing Youth and Conflict and I’ve had some great feedback. It would seem that I’m not alone in thinking that if we spent any time training our youth how to communicate, engage in conflict in a positive manner and negotiate that we might just see better results.

You can listen to it here

 

This isn’t about placing blame. Are the schools failing our kids? Are we as parents not doing enough to help them manage through these tough years? Is anyone really listening to our youth?

This is about finding a way to fill the gap that so obviously exists. Aren’t we all curious how we ended up going from the youth that we were to the responsible adults that we are today? Do we even think about how many lessons that we learned the hard way? Shouldn’t we be thinking of ways to teach our youth based on our experiences?

I know, it looks like all I have are questions. But questions are a great place to start! The BIG question is What do our Youth think would help them navigate conflict better?

We see youth in conflict managed poorly every day…we see bullying, fights, criminal charges, suspensions, withdrawals, mental health issues and sadly suicide. Before you ask, I don’t believe that opening a dialogue about problem solving or managing conflict is going to change all of this. I do however believe that there is an opportunity to change some of this.

  • Instead of being so critical of our youth, let’s be supportive of their strengths.
  • Instead of managing everything for them, let’s be there to guide them (or catch them) when they try to problem solve on their own.
  • Instead of dictating what they will do, when they will do it and how they will do it, let’s ask them for their input.
  • Instead of talking at them, let’s try listening to them.

I was asked to talk about this topic because I faciliate a workshop for Youth called RESOLVE – Conflict Preparedness for Youth. It creates dialogue around relationships, respect, power imbalances, and boundaries while helping teach communication skills as well as Conflict management.

I was asked why I thought my approach was effective. My answer is simple. I think any approach is effective! These are not skills that are being taught. These are skills that we hope young people gain through life experiences and by watching us adults model them. Is hope enough?

I think we need to empower the Youth and give them a voice. I’m sure we will be pleasantly surprised by what we hear.

Julie Gill, QMed, CDFA

Owner of Families First Mediation

Why Is Mediation The Best Kept Secret?
Mar 3rd, 2014 by Families First Mediation

As a Mediator my role is to help people communicate through conflict, to find resolutions to problems and to actively participate in decisions.

Mediation is a fair, safe and balanced process that ensures everyone has a voice. It’s less costly than the legal process and much more efficient in most cases.

Yet I still wonder daily why mediation is not as common place as counselling or lawyers? People in conflict tend to call a counsellor (to deal with the emotional side) or a lawyer (to deal with the legal side). A mediator helps deals with the practical side of conflict which is often where the biggest problems occur. Read the rest of this entry »

FIGHTING FAIR
May 29th, 2013 by Families First Mediation

ALL parts of communication are skills that can be learned. Fighting is part of that. Effective communication during a fight is tough though.

Most people are familiar with what an unfair fight looks like…The Blame Game, Silent Treatment, Inappropriate Timing, Threats, Witholding of Affection or Sex. I’m sure that you can name some more.

You hear it all of the time – You need to attack the problem…not the person. How is withholding sex attacking the problem? It’s not. It is however a reaction to being hurt, the need to hurt back. Read the rest of this entry »

Human Resources and Mediation – A Dynamic Duo
Jan 22nd, 2013 by Families First Mediation

It’s well documented that employee stress is a growing concern for organizations today. Stress that negatively impacts the workplace may come from work, personal or family sources.

Workplace dynamics are as unique as each organization and should be aligned to the organizational culture. Having strong Human Resource Management is important to balancing workplace dynamics.

A key role for Human Resources (HR) is to act as an employee advocate.   External mediators act as partners to assist with disputes and training. Mediation provides a process that is fair, balanced and confidential. Whether founded or not, a common criticism of HR partners is that they are in place only to support management and employee issues are not dealt with fairly. Read the rest of this entry »

Is Mediation Right For You?
Oct 30th, 2012 by Families First Mediation

As with any process, mediation is not for everyone. Some people can work out their terms without outside assistance, while others require legal and/or psychological support.

Your conflict may be family related such as divorce, parenting a teen or blending a family. It may be with your child’s teacher or sports coach. It could also be at work within a project team or with a difficult employee.

You have a dispute but you don’t know where to begin. You may want to hire a lawyer in case there is a battle, to ensure that you are not taken advantage of or just to make the other person ‘pay’. While, at the same time you want to keep your legal costs to a minimum, get a fair settlement and resolve issues efficiently in order to move on.

You may just have a communication problem and are unable to resolve it yourself.

Mediation will provide you with a cost effective and timely alternative to fighting your dispute out in court. It will provide you with a fair, safe and balanced process to create solutions.

In order for mediation to be effective the following ground rules must apply:

  • All parties must be motivated to settle the issues
  • All parties must be competent to identify their needs, interests and issues (If emotions are high you may need assistance in order to do this)
  • All parties must understand their basic rights and responsible
  • All parties must consent to mediation
  • All parties must be willing to negotiate fairly and share information

There must not be significant power imbalances; such as violence, which would make it difficult or impossible to negotiate.

Julie Gill Q.Med

Owner & Principal Mediator

Families First Mediation

julie@familiesfirstmediation.com

905.427.0100

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