Tonight I stumbled on an ABC World News piece called: “Families on the Brink: Roundtable Discussion on How to Help Aging Relatives.” Apparently, it is the beginning of a series about some of the challenges of aging. Although the broadcast segment was short, a longer article appeared online (as did some poignant comments from viewers, reflecting the exhaustion and anxiety that many family caregivers experience.) The most important suggestion that I saw was online: ask those essential questions of your aging loved ones and listen carefully to the answers. It may be difficult and it may be time-consuming, but it is important and valuable.
The Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) course that I am teaching this term is a part of the University’s Legal Studies program. The program has three concentrations, including Dispute Resolution. The term “Alternative Dispute Resolution” is criticized at times for being inaccurate: if the vast majority of litigated cases are resolved in some fashion before a case is tried and judgment is imposed, how can the processes used in those many, many cases be described as “alternative”? Critics would prefer to see “Dispute Resolution” — with an understanding that this term covers the full range of options available to resolve conflicts, from mediation to litigation.
This term I am teaching a course at the University of New Haven, “Alternative Dispute Resolution: Models and Practice.” It is a survey course that gives students a taste of different ADR processes: some background in conflict management, mediation, negotiation, arbitration, and restorative justice. It’s a pleasure to look at these processes from a more abstract perspective than I usually do and to have a chance to discuss conflict resolution with young people who have an academic interest in it.
Right about now, you can see the unrealistic New Year’s Resolutions start to fade away. (Anyone else notice how the fitness center crowds are thinning?)
Make 2011 your year of the New Year’s Resolution with lasting benefits. Give yourself peace of mind through Conflict Resolution.
Resolve to find a solution to the business dispute, estate planning or settlement conflict, or family fight over an aging loved one that is wasting your money, hurting your family, and sapping your energy.
Mediation can help. Contact me for a complimentary, confidential consultation.