Leo's story - YMCA DownsLink Group

Leo’s story

Image of Leo smiling with his arms crossed, wearing a beige jumper

An incident at home led to a relationship breakdown between 17 year old Leo and his mum. His mum reached out for help from our Family Mediation Service as she was close to evicting him. They were given vital support to improve their communication and learn to respect each other again.


A mum contacted our mediation service asking for support for her and her 17-year-old son, Leo.

There had been an incident at home and Leo had been arrested. This led to Leo feeling betrayed by his mum and their relationship had consequently broken down. Leo said that he didn’t want to get involved with mediation, so our Family Support Mediator, Mary, offered some parenting support sessions to his mum.

Over the next 6 months, Mary spoke to his mum on the phone every week and then moved to once a fortnight. They discussed her approach to parenting and communication, her boundaries with Leo and what was working and what wasn’t. Mary was able to guide Leo’s mum to change her approach to conversations, so she was communicating in a more “adult to adult” way and supported her to recognise her role and own behaviours which had affected hers and Leo’s relationship.

Over time, Leo’s mum adjusted her approach, negotiated boundaries with her son and their communication started improving. Recently, Leo thanked her for committing to working with Mary and remarked that he had seen a huge positive change in her. Leo and his mum now communicate effectively and respectfully and although there are times when they may argue, they now understand each other’s triggers and have a plan which they stick to, to reduce the risk of crisis.

His mum told Mary that without her support she feels her, and her son’s relationship, would have been a huge struggle to repair and that he would have either left home or she would have evicted him. Leo is now happily remaining at home, being supported by his mum through his adolescence and they talk openly and freely and respect each other again.

Mary told us:

I have really enjoyed working with Leo’s mum and seen the value of what we do here within the mediation team. I am now about to close them to our service with the knowledge that the support I have given has changed her families’ lives.

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