Being raised with P.E.T. was a blessing for which I am eternally grateful. What did P.E.T. do for me? Here are a few things:
1. Because I was listened to with respect and love, I learned that my ideas and feelings count, and I stand up for myself as a result.
2. Because I was confronted in a way that didn’t belittle or scare me, I was more open and willing to listen to them and I learned that my parents have needs, too, and that it was fair for me to listen to them as they listened to me.
3. Because I was included in decision-making, I learned that I have a voice—that my opinion matters. And I feel A LOT more motivated to carry out the solution when I helped create it.
4. Because I wasn’t spanked, and was confronted with I-Messages (and sometimes they were heated, intense I-Messages) instead, I learned that you can solve problems without force, fear, or physical punishment.
5. Because they didn’t simply tell me what to do, and instead talked openly with me about any problems they had with my behavior, I learned how to be self-directed—to police myself, if you will. This has helped me throughout my entire life, because I don’t wait to be rescued by others when I need help—instead, I look inside. And I know I can succeed because my P.E.T. parents supported me, encouraged me, and trusted me to find the best solution to life’s problems. And the love, respect, and trust that P.E.T. has created for me with my family and friends—it’s amazing. It’s hard work, and it takes time and patience, and there are times when I have frustrating exchanges with friends and family. At those times when I “lose” my skills in the heat of the moment, I know we’ll be okay…we can go back and clean it up. I can’t imagine my life without these skills. I wish every kid (and parent) on the planet could have P.E.T. in their lives.