The scenario that follows is not uncommon. Mediators from your local DRC help individuals, similar to the people in the story below, resolve their differences every day.


When life gets overwhelming, communication suffers

One day at school, fourth-grader, Joey sees a presentation by volunteers from a Dispute Resolution Center. The presentation is the story of Little Red Riding Hood—but with a twist: this time, the wolf is “MISUNDERSTOOD”, little red riding hood is more of a “HOODIE”, and grandma “MEDIATES” between the two. Joey goes home and tells his mom how Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf worked out their problems and became friends.

Mom can barely hear Joey’s story. She’s feeling overwhelmed by the challenges of the day. She worries that Joey’s older brother, Dylan and his dad are not getting along. Dad took away Dylan’s cell phone and the two haven’t spoken in a month. Then they got a letter from the Juvenile Department today, because Dylan got busted at school for fighting and was cited for disorderly conduct. Mom is tired of hearing from Dylan’s dad that “Dylan needs to act more like a man,” at school.

Mom is also upset about how her husband recently “solved” a problem with a neighbor in the manufactured-home park where he’s living, while the two of them complete their divorce papers. According to her husband, the neighbors watered their shared lawn too much. He complained to the landlord, but when nothing happened, he took matters into his own hands by rototilling the entire lawn. Later, mom found out that the neighbor was just trying to “pretty up” the yard, to sell the home on a short sale to avoid foreclosure. The neighbor called the cops and both Dylan and Joey had to witness the drama as their dad and the neighbor yelled at each other in the street. Now mom is scared that the kids won’t want to go to see their dad at all.

Mom lives on her family’s farm outside of town and the boys are starting to get excited about joining Future Farmers of America, they want to restart their grandparent’s wheat fields. Mom is anxious to get them involved in a healthy project and could use the extra income. She applied for a startup loan but was denied because the area is now considered a protected wetland. For mom, it seems like the problems never end.

Dylan and Joey sit down on the front porch to talk. Joey tells Dylan the story he heard in school. Maybe there’s a way for everyone to come together to resolve the problems their family is facing.

Mediation can help get your family back on track

If you’re facing tough times, mediation can help you get your life back on track. Check the Resolution Washington DRC Directory to locate a Center near you.