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The Cooperative Parenting Triangle as a tool The Cooperative Parenting Triangle is meant to be used as a tool while working with the parents. The triangle can be used as a conversation starter and for sharing information in individual, couple and group meetings. The triangle may be balanced differently for each family, highlight various needs, and point out individual aspects of parenthood and parental roles.
The basis The child forms a separate relationship with each parent. These relationships have a crucial impact on the child’s whole life, because it is the ground the child will build their self-image and self-esteem on. Maintaining both parent-child relationships and having the parents supporting each other’s parenthood is important for the growth and development of the child. The parents have a
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Questions to be used with parents: • How is the cooperation between the parents working at the moment? • What does it mean for the child, if the parental relationship or the parent-child relationship ends? • Which things are good in the parental relationship at the moment?
shared responsibility for making sure the child receives proper care, nurture and parenting. The end of the intimate relationship does not end the parental relationship. Cooperative relationship between the parents makes the child feel safe. The child will not have to choose one parent over the other or take responsibility for the adults’ issues or feelings.
• How have they shared the parenting roles and responsibilities? • Is the triangle balanced or tilted? How can this be seen in everyday life? • What kind of relationship does each parent have with the child? • What do the parents appreciate in each other? • What complicates maintaining the parent-child relationships? • What strengthens or could strengthen the parent-child relationships or the parental relationship?
While working with the parent, you can ask about cooperative parenting and their need for support: What is already working and what is not? What could the parent do differently?
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• How have they talked to the child about separation and its reasons? • Do the feelings caused by the end of the intimate relationship affect the parental relationship?