It has become a joke with those of us who teach P.E.T. that in almost every new class some parent will challenge the validity or limits of Method III by one of two questions:
"But what if your kid runs into the street in front of a car? Don't you have to use Method I?"
"But what if your kid gets sever appendicitis? Don't you have to use Method I to make her go to the hospital?"Our answer to both these questions is "Yes, of course." These are crisis situations that demand immediate and firm action. Yet prior to the crisis of the child's running in front of a car or needing to be taken to the hospital, non power methods can be used.
If a child develops a habit of running int the street, a parent might first try to talk to the child about the dangers of cars, walk her around the edge of the yard, and tell her that anything beyond is not safe, show her a picture of a child hit by a car, build a fence around the yard, or watch her when she is playing in the front yard for a couple of days, reminding her each time when she goes beyond the limits. Even if I took the punishment approach, I would never risk my child's life on the assumption that punishment alone would keep her from going into the street. I would want to employ more certain methods in any event.
- excerpted from "Aren't There Times When Method I Has To Be Used" in Dr. Thomas Gordon's Parent Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.) book