The Third Phase: Collaborating and Creative Partnering

In this highest level of partnership, professionals and parents are secure enough to share their thoughts, needs, fears, and interests. This sense of security comes from the knowledge that each partner recognizes and values the dreams, goals, and concerns of the other. At this level, creative exploration and problem-solving result in new solutions and fresh ideas. Originality is a cornerstone of this level of partnership: "No longer are the partners dancing separately; nor are there two distinct dance lines as we often see in the middle phase. Instead, the music and the choreography are now original works. Together the partners have written new music and designed new dance steps."

Partners in the third phase share common dreams for the child. When conflicts or differences arise, they are not perceived as threatening. Rather, conflict is viewed as a normal component of the partnership process and provides an opportunity to work on the issues and maximize the child’s potential. There is a wonderful balance in the power and decision-making inherent in this level of partnership.

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Once the nurse and parents reach the third stage of partnership, they work together smoothly without conflict or differences.


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