Mar 3, 2010

Do You Compromise?

A Special Note About Compromise

Many parents, who are uncomfortable with the results of either Method I or Method II, turn to an additional option, compromise. While neither parent nor child loses, they don't really win either - both try to win as much as possible and lose as little as possible. This approach is often confused with the P.E.T. alternative, "No Lose Problem Solving - Method III".

In a compromise, both parent and child can feel dissatisfied and the solution may become a wall between the two. A compromise solution is actually made up of trade offs and promises (individual parent and child solutions) and each watches very carefully to be sure that the other does not disregard her pieces of this solution. Usually it involves "buying and selling" solutions and needs are often not even identified. Win-lose concerns and feelings often remain.

In Method III, the first big difference is attitude - there is a genuine desire for a win-win solution which both will be happy with. The second important difference is that needs come before solutions. The needs of both the parent and the child are identified and clarified before solutions are even considered.

Method III means negotiating until a solution meets the parent's needs as well as the child's.*

*Excerpt from Dr. Thomas Gordon's Parent Effectiveness Training, P.E.T. Participant Workbook

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