Baltimore Mediation Services

Sheila Russian

Life Cycle Mediation - Ideal for Blended Families

The first call Susan received after she announced her engagement to Matthew was from her father and step-mother.

"Susan, we're so happy for you!  Just let us know what we can do for you.  But we have one special favor to ask.  It is too unpleasant for us to be together with your mother.   Of course, we will all be in one room during the ceremony. But, afterwards  we'd like to have a separate reception for our side of the family.  It will be so much easier for us.  We'll pay for it;  all you and Matt have to do is spend part of the afternoon with us and part with your mother.   It would be so much easier for all of us, wouldn't it?"

Caught off guard, Susan was speechless.  She ended the conversation quickly without answering the question.  She didn't know what to do.

All of us know someone like Susan.  It can be difficult to pick a date, choose appropriate wording for invitations, decide who will accompany the bride down the aisle, and plan receptions when relatives  are unable to cooperate.   Instead of being the happy occasions they were intended to be, weddings,  baby namings, confirmations, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, and graduations often exacerbate conflict in blended families.

Life Cycle Mediation helps families resolve conflicts.   During Life Cycle Mediation, Sheila Russian enables people to decide the best way  to move forward.  In Susan's case, a mediation session with Matthew, her father, step-mother, and her mother would be involved.   During mediation, each person would have the opportunity to share his/her concerns.  Sheila Russian points out the similarities and differences and helps Susan's family brainstorm. Sheila Russian keeps the discussion  focused on the wedding, not the difficulties between Susan's parents.

Life Cycle Mediation can insure that Susan and Matthew's wedding will be a happy, comfortable celebration.  In addition,  when other family occasions arise,  Susan's family will be better prepared  and more confident that they will be able to figure out ways to enjoy subsequent celebrations.

Sheila Russian provides family mediation services and divorce mediation services, in Baltimore and Caroll counties in Maryland. Flexible office hours include daytime, evening, and weekend appointments. Phone: 410-419-4289


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