Your success with Method III will increase with time as you become more and more skillful with the process and your Active Listening, I-Messages and Gear Shifting skills become more natural. As your children and family member's level of trust and comfort with Method III grows, your success rate also increases.
When Method III does not "work", it is usually related to one of these factors:
- The skill, experience and comfort level of the parent is lacking.
WHAT TO DO - continue to develop your skills; use Method III in No Problem Area decision making, e.g. planning for a fun family weekend and use it first on small problems before taking on big ones
- You consciously or unconsciously revert back to Method I or II due to stress, pressures or not having your PET skills integrated as your natural communication process.
WHAT TO DO - Active Listen to their feelings, send an I-Message about why you did what you did and reaffirm your commitment to the relationship; return to
- The child or other person did not buy into the process and resists trying it.
WHAT TO DO - go back and Set the Stage before beginning Step I
- There are clear limits of time and/or resources or the chance for physical harm is imminent.
WHAT TO DO - explain the situation, e.g. must leave now because there are only 30 minutes before your flight leaves, etc. take action but make the commitment to use the process when time or resources are more plentiful.
- The child or other person is not ready because they are "flooded" by built up mistrust, anger, resentment or other strong feelings.
WHAT TO DO - before you try Method III, invest time in Active Listening to the child and in sending I-Messages to improve the relationship.
- No acceptable solution is found because of one of these reasons.
WHAT TO DO - choose between Fight, Flight or Submit but be aware of the risks of using one of these strategies and continue to use your skills to reinvest in the relationship.*
*Excerpt from Dr. Thomas Gordon's P.E.T. Participant Workbook