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Mediation - How To Prepare For Meeting

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  • Mediation - How To Prepare For Meeting

    My nfh (aged 21) has decided he will (with his mum) attend a face to face mediation meeting. Unfortunately the person I initially spoke to has left (she was only on placement) and the person my nfh has met has arranged to meet with me separately before the joint meeting. I just get the feeling that he is going to try and turn it into how he is the victim (his dad died etc.... sob sob - sorry if that sounds harsh to people who have lost parents, but his behaviour was never that great when his dad was alive). Since the mediator met them, it has been very quiet next door (yay!).

    So, how do I present my 'case' at the face to face meeting. Does anyone have any experience of these so I can get some inkling? I know there will be a mediator on each side, and they control the meeting, but I'm not sure how I want to present this.

    So far, my main points are:

    it is not just me (nfh seems to think I'm the only neighbour with a problem). All (bar 2) of my neighbours that I have spoken with are with me. Unfortunately they are mostly elderly, live on their own, and are intimidated by nfh and his friends. Most wouldn't speak out face to face, but would be prepared to put something in writing.

    it is not just a noise issue - the swearing, shouting, screaming drunk in the street, fights etc. - we've had enough.

    Without appearing threatening, I want him to know that if the behaviour arises again, I will approach council to ask them to take legal action against him - how to word that without it seeming like an ultimatum.

    What can I give? Mediation - is it a deal brokering service or just a means of getting each of our views across?

    Getting nervous now. I'll have to prepare for the joint one, as I'll lose my confidence and not remember what to say - ok to take notes along with me?

    help! :cry: Oh, and I'll probably be on my own as OH is unlikely to be able to get off work.

  • #2
    Hi Flossie

    Sorry to hear it's still all going on. I hope that the Mediation helps. I'll try and give my view on the questions you've asked, although I haven't had any involvement with Mediation - so, members that have may be able to offer you more specific advice (remember though that Mediation Services will differ slightly all of the country):

    Without appearing threatening, I want him to know that if the behaviour arises again, I will approach council to ask them to take legal action against him - how to word that without it seeming like an ultimatum.

    I think that you're quite OK saying in the session that you have lived with the noise and nuisance for "x" amount of time and that you hope that after Mediation the nfh will realise the impact of their behaviour on your life and will cease to behave in such a way. However, you would like it noting that if their behaviour continues as it has, then you feel that you have no alternative but to make an official complaint to the local authority and that it will be up to them to take any appropriate action against the nfh.

    What can I give? Mediation - is it a deal brokering service or just a means of getting each of our views across?

    Not sure actually on this one. My understanding is that it is an opportunity for both sides to put their views across and then the Mediators and both parties try and reach a solution to the problem(s).

    ok to take notes along with me?

    Absolutely - write all your points down and leave big spaces after each of them so that you can scribble down the responses.

    In terms of the other neighbours, I don't see any harm in mentioning it, although it may be better if you can take in letters from them.

    When is the meeting scheduled for?

    Please let us know how you get on.


    • #3
      yes I would write stuff down that you want to say, its so frustrating when you come out of meetings and think "I wish I had said that "etc

      can you take someone with you?

      if NFH is taking mum, its only fair that you have some moral support with you too.

      also its an extra pair of ears, I forget things that have been said and if you can ask some one else who was there that also will help.

      mediation is suppose (I believe) to find middle ground for both parties, I hope this works for you

      It is good that he has agreed to go to mediation, this is a good first step to recovery for want of a better phrase


      • #4
        thanks. The main reason is that our council won't consider an ASBO unless we have tried mediation first. So I have to do it really. Disappointed in a way that he has agreed - as that would have meant more ammunition for me! As I'm a private owner (not landlord/council property) I have to gather all the evidence etc. I'm finding it very hard going, but need to get this bit out of the way first. Who knows, it might improve. I don't know who to take with me really. Dad would want to come, but he can be aggressive (in a snide way if you know what I mean), and don't think he'd help. My uncle would come (but he's a manic depressive and don't know if it would do him much good), but he's very good with words (ex-journo) knows about legal issues and is physically intimidating (20 stone, balding, ginger hair - no tattoos though.... ). They've never seen him.

        I'll see what happens at the second individual meeting I have. Think I might talk to the local council office too.

        Any one any direct experience of a mediation meeting, would be grateful to hear what you think.

        I don't really know how a mediated agreement can happen. I want him to stop behaving in an anti-social manner. Where's the middle ground????


        • #5
          good question Flossie (by the way, nice to see you again!)

          the middle ground you are looking for and the middle ground he is looking for........the likely hood is that they are going to be very different.

          he will possibly want the ok to make some noise at certain times where as I should imagine you are going to want peace and quiet.

          can comprimises be reached in all NFH situations??

          I really dont know :sad:


          • #6
            i've been lurking! some people make my problems look small by comparison.

            Bloshi is very funny - I know how she feels about going out in the garden. It does get into your head doesn't it - that you can't even enjoy your own place.

            Something has been going on at home though - as the brothers haven't been around for ages and ages. Anyway, thanks for the support, as ever.


            • #7
              Hey flossie

              I suppose we may all compare ourselves when we read other members' posts, but your problem is the one that you are having to cope with, it's the one you're having to live through, it's the one that's draining you and wearing you out.

              Please don't be reluctant to post at any time because you feel that your problems/ nfh are causing less trouble than other others. Your problem is just as serious as anyone elses, because you're the one suffering through it. And that makes it a big problem.

              I hope the Mediation meeting goes well.

              I don't really know how a mediated agreement can happen. I want him to stop behaving in an anti-social manner. Where's the middle ground????

              I think what you may want to see if you can get the nfh to realise first that his behaviour is anti-social/causing a nuisance and that it can upset people in the neighbourhood.

              Do you think that one of your other neighbours may go with you?

              Take care



              • #8
                The fact that your NFH has agreed to mediation is a positive step. The general definition of an NFH is one who would never agree to go to mediation. We agreed to go with ours but the NFH refused. If and when we ever land up in court it is a huge plus to your case that you agreed to mediation and an even bigger plus if your NFH refused.

                I haven't been along to one myself but these are trained people. I would have though that they would meet you both separately before you sat face to face.

                I hope it means that your NFH may be able to see reason. I have heard that mediation can perform miracles so try not to be too negative.
                Now, these creatures are bringers of death and misery. They will never eat, they will never sleep, and they will never stop.

                We are part of an ancient secret society. For three thousand years we have guarded the Cities and Towns. We are sworn at manhood to do any and all in our power to stop the NFH from ever being reborn into this world.

                So what's the plan?

                Rescue the damsel in distress, stop the bad guys, save the world.


                • #9
                  Hi, and interested that your nfh has agreed to mediation!

                  I have been involved in mediation, as support for one party in the process. The key is to see if there IS a way forward to a resolution. If nfh cooperates, this may not just take one session. The summary of both sides'perception of the problem(s)appears to be important, as well as how both parties would like it to be, and what steps/compromises could be taken to achieve this. If some agreement is reached on a way to take things forward, you may come back for a further meeting to see if things are on their way to a resolution. Of course, things may not go this way at all, but at least you will have made an effort.

                  If he behaves badly, or does not participate, keep your cool, get your points across, and show willing to hear his point of view. Then who will be behaving in a reasonable manner? Try to avoid being accusatory and giving enormous lists in detail of his offences;this isn't designed to be a court of law.

                  If you want to take someone for support, check first whether you can do so(don't see why not!). And it's fine to take notes in. Try not to be taking notes during the mediation so you can concentrate. One of the mediator's should be providing minutes of the points made in the meeting. Check that someone is beforehand, as it's difficult to remember everything afterwards.

                  It should all be very informal, but should also be impartial.

                  Hope all goes well for you! Let us know how you go :nuke: 'em



                  • #10
                    thanks sapphirelily. I know I am feeling negative about it, and that's worrying me. But hopefully I can clarify things when I see the mediator myself in a couple of weeks time. I don't really think any of my neighbours would come - they are too scared of him and any possible repercussions (sp?). Having the mum there is actually to my advantage - as she wants this over and is the main instigator in their house for keeping things reasonable. I know she will stick up for him - after all he's her son, but at the end of the day she doesn't want any more hassle. So I've been keeping the pressure on her. Other neighbours complain to her about him as well, so she knows it's not just me.

                    I'll let you know what happens after my next personal meeting with the mediator wifie. She didn't seem very interested on the phone, and that's what's worrying me - but I'm probably getting it out of proportion.

                    I'm getting myself into a bit of a state about it actually. Considering going to the docs, but I can't admit it to anyone in my family (even OH) - and that's worrying me too! What a stupid mess. Ok - get a grip and go and do some flipping work. Remember what that is? Good grief, I'm even typing to myself....... :blink:

                    Normal service will be resumed eventually LOL.


                    • #11
                      try and stay strong and focused!!

                      you are a strong powerful woman!!

                      good luck! :clover:


                      • #12
                        Hey, Flossie

                        Don't worry too much about trying to have a "grip". Maybe the mediator's attempt to be calm and non-inflammatory appeared like disinterest? I suppose she needs to be unflappable.

                        Remember, you are there to display how reasonable you are..but no one expects you to be a robot. I'm glad his mum sounds more reasonable, I think that is a bit of help.

                        Imagine a wish list of how it COULD be better, and therefore how nfh could behave to make life more tolerable. It is not unreasonable to ask for some of these measures. In turn, who knows, he might meet some of them if he hears them!?!

                        Stranger things, and all that. If he doesn't cooperate, you have lost nothing, and gained in stature in the eyes of statutory services for being reasonable and really trying to sort things out.

                        Lots of luck



                        • #13
                          Well, had a meeting with new mediator today. She's alright actually. We talked for nearly an hour - but it didn't seem that long. Had a few tears and she had tissues, so that was ok.

                          Basically she brought up the possibility of an ASBO to nfh, but I don't think he'll have taken it in. Also trying to arrange a face to face meeting. It's been lovely the last couple of weeks - mum has been on holiday at home all the time. Bliss. Actually managing to sit out in the afternoons/evenings without Oasis blasting down my ears.

                          Feel a bit more confident about the meeting. Hopefully OH will be able to come along. Have felt a bit concerned that I haven't been able to speak with NFH's mum lately (nfh has always been there), so mediator is going to mention that I was sorry we hadn't had a chance to chat much when she next speaks to her.

                          I'm going to have a practice with my uncle - I'll be the nfh (what fun!). See if I can remember the things he says. and then reverse it.

                          It's a max 2 hour meeting, and I'm allowed to cry/get upset/ even angry if it's within bounds, but if he becomes abusive or violent then the meeting stops and he's chucked out. Sounds sad to practice things, but I like to be prepared.

                          I'll have to find a way of saying 'basically if your behaviour continues as is, then we will apply to council for an ASBO' without it appearing a threat. s*d it, just say that.

                          very stressed though - struggling in lots of other ways, but hanging on!


                          • #14
                            Good luck flossie - sounds like you're well prepared

                            Let us know won't you?


                            • #15
                              Hi Flossie!

                              had wondered what was happening with your mediation!

                              Glad to hear mediator sounds nice, and has thoughts on the possibilities in terms of outcomes. Sorry it's been upsetting, but I think ultimately you will gain confidence and strength of position from the process!

                              Good on you(and your uncle)for having a trial run as well...great idea.

                              Let us know how it goes, eh?