Experiences of mediation?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by SuZir, Mar 31, 2014.

  1. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    difficult child called and told that one of his contract negotiations is having an issue the team wants to solve using mediation. Negotiations are in early stage but it could be a good opportunity (especially lots for me to like, less than two hour train trip from home, bigger city, longer term, good mental health resources in the city, positional coach who knows difficult child and whom difficult child knows and gets along with, you get the drift.) The problem is, that they have under contract a player difficult child has had several issues with. And other way around. Both have committed actual crimes against each other, but most, if not all of those have been expired already. difficult child's part of all that was more or less mediated soon after the fact, but transgressions of the other boy were not known to us at that time.

    difficult child has been guilty of petty theft and identity theft against this boy (though breaking the trust and unwritten honour code of team athletes was more the 'actual crime' in everyone's eyes.) He has been guilty of an assault of some degree (he did kick difficult child few times when he was in the ground and unable to defend himself, but didn't cause any serious injuries) and may or may have not been guilty of other things depending if he did have material from the incident on his own device and if he distributed that material.

    However his 'real crime' in this context is considered to be just leaving the actual 'incident' when it got too rough to his taste and not trying to stop it or defend difficult child. Just kicking difficult child around a bit is considered to be more or less understandable 'peer justice.' And more so, using the knowledge and material on what happened after he left against difficult child next year when they continued to be team mates to coerce difficult child to do things he didn't want and to ridicule and humiliate him. And not talking about these things and doing his responsibility in protecting a team mate in the latest after difficult child was caught stealing.

    Boys themselves are not too eager to go through it again and consider it finished deal already. They have also for example played tennis and gone clubbing together well after these incidents and consider to be in okay terms. However the team wants the mediation process to be done before they consider hiring difficult child.

    Mediating process could be good for difficult child, but I do have some concerns on what difficult child told us about this:
    * Timetable is unarguably difficult but it really seems bad for difficult child.
    * They want to use a psychologist with vast sports background as a mediator. To our knowledge he doesn't have mediating experience.
    * Due the timetable representation of difficult child will be a huge issue. And to be honest we have very little faith in difficult child being able to handle this on his own in the way, that would bring anything positive out of it.
    * Team really doesn't want outsiders of the sport involved and while I can see the reason, due the timetable it really works against difficult child

    Timetable is tight and the process would be done during the time difficult child will have huge troubles to get any adequate support for himself for the process. Unfortunately boys use the same agent so while he could be there if boys want it so, he certainly has conflict of interest. A lawyer we use is not only an outsider of the sports but also a woman and this is way too macho environment to get anything positive done by bringing outside legal representative who is woman nor the less. Taking mommy as a support person is out of question too. difficult child was told other boy's dad would be there, but difficult child doesn't want husband. He would consider father in law, but that would be snub to husband and also relieve cracks in our lines that I would really loathe to let happen in this type of situation. difficult child's sport psychiatric will be literally other side of the world all that month. difficult child's Mentor does have tv work in other country during the days team has given to difficult child. One of the days he is apparently free, but getting him here would require considerable difficulty, couple international flights and hours of other transportation to be there. He has told difficult child he is willing to do it, but it is quite a lot to ask. Him being also a coach, though right now doing tv work instead of full time coaching, could also be stepping toes of difficult child's possible new positional coach. Both guys are known to have huge egos and having quite a few rough edges. difficult child has already once been left in the middle between his Mentor and his then coach. Rescheduling doesn't seem possible and difficult child needs to choose from the dates given.

    While the person they want to be a mediator is certainly qualified psychiatric, he isn't experienced with the process. I really don't like that. However that could be something difficult child could have something to say and demand an experienced mediator who does this for living in criminal cases. That should be doable. Of course difficult child doesn't, again, seem to grasp possible pitfalls and would just 'get it done' and not put any thought into it. That never ends well.

    They also have indicated to difficult child that there would be a team representative in present (apparently their director of player personnel) and that too, doesn't sound good at all for me.

    However, I don't have any real relevant experience with mediating in this type of cases. I just know that my kid is likely to do very badly in representing himself and even worse with the outcome if he feels he was not heard or feels he was walked over.

    difficult child does have some time to give his answers or try to negotiate changes to these plans. While timetable is tight, it isn't right now but after end of the season (not that far from now though.) Or simply leave it and pursue his other negotiations. I booked us (me, husband and difficult child) a consultation with our lawyer and we will see how she feels about this, but I would like to hear experiences of mediation processes and what to take into an account.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2015
  2. Childofmine

    Childofmine trying to do this thing one day at a time Staff Member

    Hi Suzir, my experience with mediation is that we tried it in our divorce. We hired a mediator and we were there, in the same building, both of us with our lawyers. We spent several hours in separate rooms with the mediator going back and forth. Then we did it again another day. The problem was that we were both mad and we both were stubborn about different things and I guess, looking back, just were not ready to mediate.

    It was very frustrating. I would say he will need somebody, especially if tensions and emotions are high. A lawyer, a trusted relative, a trusted friend, whom he can consult with about his best interests.

    Also, will they try to do it all at one sitting or several sessions?
  3. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    As needed. They have booked a possibility to several sessions, and apparently that is what the guy they want to use as a mediator would suggest. With difficult child's representative situation it would be preferred if they could get it done in the day. And timetable is challenging, they are rushed to do it between certain dates. Starting date is non-negotiable, and they really want to have an answer if difficult child is hireable to the last date of that window. That date though has a some chance to be pushed back depending how much they want difficult child.

    In here it is assumed they will be facing each other and made to talk also emotional content of this. The goal in this case is not avoiding going to court or some practical settlement, but team wants to be sure difficult child and this other boy can share the intimacy of being team mates and all that comes with that without these past actions causing rift and problems between them and for the team as a whole.

    This boy is one of the very few who were involved in original incident that are active in the sport any level near where difficult child is, so just trying to avoid these few boys for rest of his career is a realistic option. However I can see some emotional benefits for difficult child to have to sit down with this other boy, talk about it and hopefully gain a real understanding. But I can also see the process backfiring in bad way, if difficult child doesn't feel he is heard and treated fairly. His basic assumption in things like this tends to be, that he is not listened, believed or his feelings are not cared for and things will always end in the favour of the other party. And he acts from that assumption in petulant and passive aggressive manner. Which is why I do think he absolutely needs a representative with him to whom he trusts and who is able to make sure difficult child is heard. His sport psychiatric would be ideal (really great guy who totally gets difficult child and is able to handle him), but he is simply not available. We are looking for a possibility for some kind of teleconference that would allow his involvement. But still difficult child also needs someone, who is actually there and is able to actually see difficult child whole time and knows how to read him (it is not like difficult child would put anything he actually needs to say into words on his own.)
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2015
  4. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    I'm little baffled on how to take this: difficult child had mentioned something about lawyer to club's representative and he was told, he wouldn't want to 'lawyer up' because other party is not doing so and it could be considered hostile.

    Yeah, I'm sure other party is not lawyering up, just bringing his dad, who just happens to be a lawyer specialised into criminal law and works as a prosecutor. More with drug related crimes to my understanding, but still. Only lawyer in our immediate family is my sister in law, who was a corporate lawyer before opting to become organic farmer instead, but while she is able to give us recommendations of lawyer in this type of case, it is far from her expertise. Though that what I know other boy's parents (and I do know some, he and difficult child did play together few years and there was lots of fund raising etc. for us parents), they are reasonable and smart folk. I don't really believe they would take offence for difficult child consulting a lawyer so I believe this comes solely from the team. In fact this dad was very helpful for us, when difficult child got caught from stealing, helped to talk down enraged parents and boys, was instrumental in getting everyone to agree that best way to deal with it was to go with 'restorative justice' route, which I believe was absolutely best for difficult child in every way and was even one of the people who recommended us a treatment program we put difficult child into and with which we have been very happy with.

    I advised difficult child to call it BS and if it is a problem for them, he really doesn't want to sign with them anyway. Helps that this is not his favourite option of negotiations that are going on, he may even do that and not cave.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2015
  5. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Sometimes gossip mill can be useful, because of that it became evident what was going on and I think we were able to turn the tables. We are trying to make kind of coup here.

    Apparently for some reason the team came to an understanding that we have withdrawn our support/resources from difficult child and also difficult child's Mentor had washed his hands from him at least to some degree. They probably misunderstood difficult child's less than subtle evasiveness and comments how he doesn't believe husband is available to go with him at those dates etc. Anyway, they seem to have thought we had left our whelp alone into the woods for any passing wolf pack to dine from.

    When friends and acquaintances who heard rumours about that asked, if we have really done so, or had difficult child just 'forgotten' to tell us about things again, our first reaction was to get really hostile and lawyer up to our ears. That of course would not had done much good at all. Especially while this is not difficult child's favourite negotiation, and after all this not mine or husband's either, it is not a direction to burn bridges either. And mediation with this other boy could really be healing experience for difficult child.

    So we did contact other family and they are with agreement with us about many things; mainly that totally outside of sport or negotiation situations, mediation between difficult child and this other boy could be very beneficial for both of them and their character development and mental well being. So we basically agreed to take it into our own hands and terms. Current plan; it will happen here, where we both families live, it will be two parts, other for what happened and how it effected both of them and other for sport point of view and possibly being in the same team in some point and so on. Other part will be team to arrange how they want, but we will choose experienced outside mediator to first part, boot team representative from attending (but their psychologist can attend if they want) and both parents from both boys will be there (difficult child is okay with husband coming, if I'm there too, he just doesn't want husband to be there alone with him. Apparently he believes I can keep husband getting volatile or attacking him, which I very much doubt husband would do anyway, but I can partly understand difficult child's distrust.) If a team is still interested to go on with their mediation process and have that other meeting, difficult child will try to get a date so that he can ask his Mentor to go with him.

    difficult child's sport psychiatric has again been great and came up with couple extra appointment slots in hurry before leaving other side of the world for a month to go over the process with difficult child and his wants and wishes for this and how to use the tools they have been working on to be appropriate in the mediation situation and to become heard.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2015