Effective Communication with Children: Key Questions for a Mediator


Mediation is a vital part of resolving conflicts without having to go to court. In situations where two parties cannot agree, mediation is a process that allows for an impartial third-party to act as a facilitator in guiding the conversation and helping parties come to a decision. In situations where children are involved in the dispute, a mediator will speak to them directly about their concerns and needs. We’ll explore the concerns that a mediator or conciliator will ask a child in the mediation process and why it’s essential.

Understanding the Child’s Perspective

Empathy forms the foundation of successful mediation when children are involved. A child-friendly mediator recognizes the importance of understanding the child’s perspective and tailoring their approach accordingly. To achieve this, mediators at Rhino Mediation employ a series of carefully crafted questions designed to foster open dialogue and gain valuable insight into the child’s thoughts and emotions.

Key Questions a Child-Friendly Mediator Asks

  1. What is your understanding of the current situation?
    • This question invites the child to express their own interpretation of the conflict, allowing the mediator to identify any misconceptions or misunderstandings.
  2. How does the conflict make you feel?
    • By exploring the child’s emotions, the mediator can gauge the impact the conflict has on their mental and emotional well-being. This helps create a safe space for the child to share their feelings and concerns.
  3. What do you believe would be a fair solution?
    • Encouraging the child to propose possible resolutions empowers them and promotes their active participation in the mediation process. This question also gives insight into their understanding of fairness and compromise.
  4. Are there any concerns or fears you have regarding the conflict?
    • This question allows the mediator to address any anxieties or worries the child may have, ensuring they feel heard and supported throughout the mediation process.
  5. How would you like to see things improve?
    • By focusing on positive outcomes, this question encourages the child to envision a future where the conflict is resolved, fostering hope and encouraging them to actively engage in finding solutions.

Advantages of Child-Friendly Mediation

Child-friendly mediation offers numerous benefits for children and families going through conflicts. Some advantages include:

  • Empowerment: Children gain a sense of agency and empowerment by being actively involved in the resolution process rather than feeling like passive participants.
  • Emotional Support: A child-friendly mediator provides a safe and supportive environment where children can express their emotions and concerns without judgment.
  • Enhanced Communication: By facilitating open and honest communication, child-friendly mediation helps improve understanding between all parties involved, fostering healthier relationships.
  • Long-Term Solutions: The collaborative approach of child-friendly mediation often leads to more sustainable and long-lasting resolutions, benefiting children and families in the long run.
  • Reduced Stress: Children experience reduced stress levels when their voices are heard and considered during the mediation process, leading to improved overall well-being.


When it comes to resolving conflicts involving children, the role of a child-friendly mediator is vital. By asking thoughtful and insightful questions, mediators at Rhino Mediation ensure that children’s voices are heard, their emotions are validated, and their best interests are prioritized. With a focus on empathy, understanding, and open communication, child-friendly mediation paves the way for effective conflict resolution, benefiting children, families, and communities alike.

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