Nov 30, 2011

Power vs. Influence

We'd love if you shared your thoughts with us on this video and the idea of influencing children. Please comment below or check out our YouTube channel for more videos like this.

Nov 16, 2011

Advice from A P.E.T. Insturctor

A few weeks ago, we published a Q &A from a mother of two boys. If you missed it, you can read it here.

Here's another response, directly from one of our long-time Certified P.E.T. Instructors:

Dear Anonymus,

It looks like you are saying that yelling seems to help, as only when you yell they do what you want them to do? On the other hand you do not like to yell and you would rather want them to do what they’re told right away when you ask them in a nice way.

Changes do need time as habits may have become patterns and these are often tough to break through. What you can keep in mind though is that the no-lose method of Dr Thomas Gordon steps away from one person telling another person what to do or what not to do when there are problems (You-messages vs I-messages).

When solutions are made with the no-lose method and they do not work out the way you agreed upon, you all have to sit down and go over the 6 steps again. Especially step 2 with active listening. This is most important when problems have become conflicts and are a mixture of needs and values.

Doing homework is such a mixture. You have the value that they should do their homework and the need to preserve your happy mood and energy. Even though your sons may understand the value of doing homework, the value of homework is pretty abstract in the actual moment, in the ‘here and now’ and therefore they may not feel the need to do the homework. This ‘need’ can be woken up by you yelling. It is not that they all of a sudden want to do their homework because you yell. They may just need a peaceful house. So they may do homework for you to stop yelling!
I say a lot of ‘may’ as we don’t know until we hear everybody speak what is going on in them. But it is for you to open up your thoughts that anything is possible.

To break through this spiral you can start as suggested by GTI with a confrontive I message about the yelling, how that effects you and how much you would want to change this. Then it is up to them to respond and for you to active listen (They may say they don’t like it, or they don’t mind or they wait for you to yell…anything is possible ; maybe they are not set up well where to do the homework- maybe it is too easy – or maybe it is too hard and they need help – maybe they like to do it in the morning – maybe – maybe there is a deeper underlying problem etc. they will let you know if you active listen).

My suggestion is to go through the 6 step no-lose method in order for you all to come up with solutions to try out. Elaborate on step 6! Set a week for try out. After a week you sit down together, evaluate, see what worked and what did not work and where you have to make adjustments! You will make a start for meetings with true participation.

I remember very well the joy my boys and I sometimes felt when we got through some problems and had come up with solutions to try out. Solutions were never ‘final’. We knew we would always sit back together if one of us was unhappy. This by itself made us do our utmost to make the solutions work!


Cielja Kieft
Gordon Trainer
Mother and Grandmother

Nov 10, 2011

Parenting With Love

Long time P.E.T. Instructor, Kathryn, explains the difference between authoritarian parenting styles versus parenting with P.E.T. Watch this touching video to hear about her experience:

Let us know what you think - please comment and share!

Nov 2, 2011

Q & A from a Mother of Two Boys

Question: When my sons don't do their chores (especially homework) sometimes I will yell at them and then they will do it. First I will ask them to do something very politely and most of the time they won't listen. But when I yell, they will do what they're told right away. I don't want to yell at them and I have asked them why they don't do things when I ask them nicely. Please help.

Dear Anonymous,

It sounds like you are confused with how to use P.E.T. when you want your sons to do their chores because they respond quicker to you when you yell. You don't want to shout at them, but you also want their chores done in a timely manner.

It is common among parents to notice that P.E.T. skills sometimes don't work right off the bat. It's extremely important to remember that these skills are NOT an overnight, quick-fix, especially if punitive styles (like yelling) have been used on the children over an extended period of time. It takes practice and some patience to see a change in your relationships with your children. You might initially be met with resistance or skepticism when using the new P.E.T. skills, but this is certain: the long term benefits of using P.E.T. create more loving, trusting and responsible children. Using your parental "power" will do exactly the opposite; in the long and short term. Consider asking yourself: Am I trying to save TIME? Or am I trying to create healthy parent-child relationships so that my children will turn out to be self-disciplined and responsible adults?

I would suggest sending your children a preventive I-Message about their chores so that they know when you would like to have them done. You can also send a confrontive I-Message to express how it affects you when they don't do their chores on time. All I-Messages MUST include all three parts in order to be effective. And remember to shift gears into Active Listening if they respond defensively.