Handling Children Handling Loneliness
During lockdown, Angharad Rudkin became firmly established as the go-to for insight over children coping with the separation of their parents. Courtesy of Only Mums and Only Dads and others, Angharad led a large cohort of family lawyers through a child-psych 101. That work has, no doubt, significantly increased the sensitivity of family law professionals to the needs of children during this transition.
In a parallel development, the non-stop leadership of Exeter University has continued. Their challenge, issued late March, under a banner “child-inclusive mediation in a rights age” was for our processes to become more mindful of children’s entitlements to be heard in the matters that affect them. Their mental health and well-being demands it and our recognition of their human rights should lead to our throwing open the doors of the rooms where these family discussions are taking place to gather in the thoughts and insights that young people have to add to the mix: not for them to have the burden of deciding but to know that their voice and preferences are heard when they want this and so that they have some better sense of what is going on.
We can grasp well the sense of isolation that is the common experience for young people from a fabulous book, recently out, written by Angharad and Ruth Fitzgerald.
It feels like a warm and understanding arm around the shoulders. Perhaps too often we worry about whether the gender and age of books is right for our child. However, it is very likely that a wide range of children are going to benefit from the quick read that is presented here, skimming over what seems less relevant but holding onto the support the book represents.
Hopefully our profession is evolving such that future generations of children will feel a little less alone in the months and years ahead – but what a great stop-gap till we all better catch up with the need.
For further information and advice, please contact any of our top London divorce lawyers and family mediators on E: firstname.lastname@example.org or T: 020 7420 5000.