With another great story about children, a shout out to my RA Erica Hayden for this lovely example of mediation told to her by a friend about her ten-year-old daughter:
“Emily” came home from school one day and told her mom how she helped two girls make up with each other after a bad fight. Emily knew the girls had been best friends, but they had gotten into a fight about a week before and were not speaking to each other. Emily saw that both girls were miserable. She knew that both of them wanted to make up, but they did not know where to begin and both were too proud to be the first to make amends. Now, if you do not know, let me just say that a week in tween years is an eternity in real years, so Emily knew this was a serious situation and decided she needed to help these girls out.
Emily asked each of them to come to her during the lunch hour. When the girls saw each other they clammed up immediately, but Emily did not hesitate. She asked each of them to sit down and they obeyed. Emily then sat between them so that they could not see each other. She asked one girl to sit quietly and listen while the other girl said everything she needed to say – no interruptions. Both girls were able to speak openly with Emily physically between them. By the end of the “session” the girls were on their way to becoming best friends again and Emily felt good about helping. Her mom was amazed that Emily had just accomplished her first mediation without any classes, training, or books to guide her. Granted her parents probably laid the ground work for her to be the kind of girl who would help people in need, but Emily wisely knew exactly what these broken-hearted best friends needed – someone to help them listen.
Cross posted at Indisputably.