Carol Barkes, CPM, MBA, is a conflict resolution expert, mediator, national speaker, educator and bestselling author who uniquely applies neuroscience to the fields of conflict resolution and negotiations. Her expert perspective is always fresh and relevant.
What Carol Barkes could say in an interview
As a certified professional mediator specializing in child custody and bestselling author, Carol Barkes deals with topics like this daily and also lives this reality with her 18-year-old son.
1) Create room to grieve. Even if the estrangement happened years ago, holidays will bring hurt to the surface in a child. Allow room to process emotions.
2) Create new traditions. Life, as it was, is no longer available, but you can still create new traditions that will become future memories. Do not try to make it seem like nothing has changed. Instead, make the best of life as it is now.
3) Create opportunities to reach out to the estranged parent. Kids need both their parents. Let them know that it is okay to reach out and also help them manage their expectations for doing so. Help them understand the response may not be fulfilling emotionally, but they can still make a kind gesture.
4) 80% of children estranged from a parent will reach out to that parent in adulthood. Consider helping them do so earlier so there is less baggage to heal later.
Interview: Carol Barkes
Carol Barkes, CPM, MBA, is a trend-setting mediator, business executive and educator specializing in the use of neuroscience to improve business performance, interpersonal communications, negotiation and conflict resolution processes for optimally successful results. She is also a speaker, educator, and author of the bestselling book: Success Breakthroughs: Leading Entrepreneurs and Professionals Reveal Their Secrets for Breaking Through to Success.
Director of Public Relations
Success In Media, Inc.