Monday, December 21, 2009

Collaborative and Cooperative Engagement

The alternatives to power struggles: collaborative and cooperative engagement.

In collaborative engagement differing opinions lead to creative solutions.
Collaboration occurs when winning gets redefined as "getting it right" instead of “proving that I’m right." Here, the positive feedback loop naturally reinforces itself because, when successfully collaborating, both parties acknowledge differences and consciously avoid criticizing each other. This opens up the door for co-parenting that’s usually more effective and feels good. The trickle down effect on the children can be profound, because when they sense that their parents are a good parenting team together, there is less ambiguity and anxiety, which in turn permits them to live their childhood as it needs to be lived – unburdened by the divorce.

In Cooperative engagement disagreements are softened by a wish to work together coupled with clear and healthy boundaries. Before the parents can work together, they need to establish clear boundaries. Cooperative parenting is not as warm as collaborative parenting, but it still creates a positive feedback loop.

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