President Obama’s speech in Tucson attempted to lay to rest or at least quiet down the huge uproar in the media as to who was to blame for the murder of 6 people and the wounding of 14 more. Instinctive biases and animosities led some of the political “usual suspects” to blame the shooting on their enemies. In this case, it was the left blaming Sarah Palin and talk radio for the climate that led to the murders.  As it turned out, there were no facts to back up the claim. Friends of the murderer said he didn’t even listen  to the news or talk radio and had no political leanings.  In short, he was just a very sick individual.

As a family and divorce mediator, the whole media mess just reminded me of how couples blame each other for every incident that does not go their way.  For example, a husband isn’t late delivering the children for the weekly parenting exchange for any possible legitimate reason,  such as a flat tire.  No, ‘he is a lazy, good for nothing,  SO*, who is just trying to make life difficult.”

No one wants the facts to interfere with their opinions, which of course, have been arrived at only after years of careful observation of the bum. Lost in all this finger pointing are the best interests and mental health of the children who are stuck in the middle of the mudslinging. They learn that name calling,  followed by a good rant,  is the preferred way to deal with problems.

Mediation, on the other hand, is an effective way to change this scenario for couples who are having trouble with custody and parenting time issues. A good mediator can create new scenarios for dealing with the facts and emotions so that both  the parents and the children can have a better future.

The alternative is to have two family law attorneys fight it out with a referee or a judge.  They make the money and the parties keep fighting and paying and the children learn some destructive life lessons.