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

Jun 8, 2011

Most Embarrassing Dad in America?

There might not be anything more humiliating for teenagers than their embarrassing parents. Even as an adult, I still have a few of those mortifying memories like "that one time when Dad started line-dancing in the parking lot."

Today on ABC's "Good Morning America", I couldn't help but smile when watching their segment on a Utah father who embarrassed his teenage son every weekday morning by waving goodbye to him and his schoolbus ... decked out in a different costume!

For an entire school year, this father dressed up in costumes like The Little Mermaid, a Firefighter, Superman, Michael Jackson, and so on.

I wonder what P.E.T. parents and their teens would think about this prankster -- Did he go a little too far or is this fun-loving dad just too hilarious to be upset at?

You can watch the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYpLgdzp64A

Let us know what you think!

Jun 1, 2011

The Teen Years

I am now convinced that most theories about the "stress and strain of adolescence" have focused incorrectly on such factors as adolescent' physical changes, their emerging sexuality, their new social demands, their struggle between being a child and an adult, and so on. This period is difficult for children and parents largely because adolescents become so independent of their parents that they can no longer be easily controlled by rewards and punishments. And since most parents rely so heavily on rewards and punishment, adolescents react with much independent, resistive, rebellious, hostile behavior.

Parents assume that adolescent rebellion and hostility are inevitably a function of this stage of development. I think this is not valid - it is more that adolescents become more able to resist and rebel. They are no longer controlled by their parents' rewards because they don't need them so much; and they are immune to threats of punishment because there is little parents can do to give them pain or strong discomfort. The typical adolescent behaves as she does because she has acquired enough strength and resources to satisfy her own needs and enough of her own power so that she need not fear the power of her parents.

An adolescent, therefore, does not rebel against her parents. She rebels against their power. If parents would rely lesson power and more on nonpower methods to influence their children from infancy on, there would be little for children to rebel against when they become adolescents. The use of power to change the behavior of children, then, has this severe limitation: parents inevitably run out of power, and sooner than they think.

- Dr. Thomas Gordon, Parent Effectiveness Training