Letter from the facilitator
In working within the courts and as a mediator, I have observed the damaging effects conflict between parents can cause. I have seen the pain in people's faces as they struggle through dismantling their lives onto a legal stack of papers, and I have seen the anger and fear in the eyes of parents that feel their parental relationship with their children is threatened by the other parent due to conflict.
At the same time, as a mediator and a co-parent educator, I have seen far more parents overcome the most difficult of circumstances by working through co-parenting challenges, agreeing upon custody and working out parenting schedules that work for them and their children when they receive information and resources through co-parent education and mediation.
Hardships can change people for better or worse. Hurtful words can reverberate in the mind and heart for years if there is not a safe release in which to heal. However, the power of the human heart to heal and overcome is also strong. There is nothing more painful than relationship breakup and divorce. When there are children involved it goes into a whole different level.
While I hate the pain separation and divorce causes, it need not destroy the hearts of people nor does it need to destroy a family. It will, however, change the family and those transitions have to be understood and managed with care. Divorce ends a love relationship; but it does not end a family.
A mother is still a "mom" and a father is still a "dad" and grandmas and grandpas are the same to a child no matter how their parents view the situation to be.
Why Courts Order Parent Education
Parent Education is not intended to add yet another expense or burden upon parents. It is intended to do the following:
- Provide knowledge of some of the basic legal processes and terminologies
- Bring understanding of the effects of long-term parental conflict on children and learn ways how parents can be active in reducing those effects
- To encourage parents to learn better ways to communicate and resolve conflicts surrounding the parents of their children between the separate homes
Impact Parent Education is designed to impact the way parents view co-parenting. Some of the ideas brought to you in this program are the voices of parents that have overcome difficult co-parenting challenges.
Sincerely, Lois Warner
Mediator, Co-Parent Educator, ENE and Legal Assistant
Lois Warner's Professional Background
Lois Warner has a background in court reporting and legal assistance, with education in family dynamics and crisis management, and has been a mediator, parenting time coordinator and divorce and parent educator with over 30 years of experience. She has training in workplace mediation, family group conferencing, advanced mediation techniques, domestic violence mediation, divorce mediation and restorative justice.
She is the author of the Impact Parent Education and founded a nonprofit of Mediation Works North in 1999. This was an organization supported by the United Way of Northeastern Minnesota and the Lake Superior Initiative out of Duluth from 2001-2015. When funding directives changed for the United Way, Mediation Works North changed its status into a Limited Liability Corporation, but it continues to maintain the mission and services it was founded upon since it first began services in 1997.
Lois still offers mediation and legal assistant services and facilitates the Impact Parent Education she created. She is a wife of 48 years to the man she met at the age of 18. She is a mother of two grown sons and a proud grandmother of four.