Jun 15, 2011

What Makes A Happy & Loving Home?

Recently, I spoke with a P.E.T. Instructor who says that she has been coming across more parents these days who claim to already have a well-balanced and happy lifestyle with their children and therefore are not in need of Parent Effectiveness Training. This of course, is great news to be heard, although it leaves some skepticism.

When elaborating more upon what it meant to them to have this loving family dynamic, parents explain that their kids are kept extremely busy with multiple sports, music lessons, college prep., etc. Not only are the kids busy with their own extracurricular activities, but so are the parents. In fact, everyone was so preoccupied with other things, that their schedules left little time to even have meals together, let alone get into any arguments. Their case stands that a happy home is one in which there is no conflict at all.

I couldn't help but wonder: If there is no time for conflict, how is there any time for intimacy?

This left me feeling sympathetic for those parents and children who were so busy that they had no time left for each other.

In all close relationships, conflict is inevitable. Never have I heard anyone in a marriage, long-term friendship, a sibling, or the like who could honestly say, "We have never gotten into an argument." Yet at the same time, many of these people would also say that they these very same relationships have been fulfilling, loving and rewarding.

With this in mind, the conclusion that I came to is that the true test of any good relationship isn't whether or not conflict arises, but it is how the conflict is handled.

P.E.T. not only provides ways for families to deal with conflict, but teaches ways to prevent conflict from happening in the first place, when at all possible. This is the reason why we don't offer the P.E.T. skills to be taught "a la carte." Just as you would need more than a hammer to build a home, P.E.T. is an entire set of tools that can be used everyday in every personal interaction. And that's the other beautiful thing about P.E.T. - the principles that P.E.T. teaches can be used in ALL relationships in our lives.

By: Selena Cruz George, Program Manager

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