Jane and her 16 year old son Dylan hadn't been getting on for several months. Eventually there was a very serious argument and Dylan threatened his mother to the extent she called the police and applied for Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) against him. The matter came before the Children's Court, where the Magistrate referred Jane and Dylan to mediation at CJC.
At the beginning of the mediation, Jane and Dylan blamed each other for the events that led to the police being called. The mediators asked each of them to explain, uninterrupted, what had happened and what they would like to achieve through mediation, and what key issues they would like to discuss.
Jane said Dylan spent too much time on his computer; his schoolwork was suffering and he didn't help out around the house. Dylan complained that Jane nagged him and did not respect his privacy.
During the mediation, the mother and son slowly started to listen to each other and to take responsibility for their part in the events. Together, they came up with strategies to recognise the danger signals and avoid confrontation.
Both realised that they had stopped spending time together, doing things both enjoyed. They missed spending positive time together. They agreed to try to spend time cooking and bushwalking together at least once a week again. They also agreed on rules about behaviour and their expectations of each other and to have a follow up mediation to review the agreement after eight weeks. Jane withdrew her ADVO application.
At the second mediation, both Dylan and Jane were enthusiastic about the improvement in their relationship. The agreement had worked, except they realised that weekly cooking and walking was unrealistic, so they changed it to every second or third week..
When can mediation help?
Family, relationships and children