“… I have almost finished a Parent Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.) course, which was recommended to me. I very highly recommend the course to all parents and wish it were a compulsory course for all parents to do. The course has caused me to completely re-evaluate the relationships I have with my children (and my partner and other children) and has had a profound impact on the way our family now communicates.
My wife and I have found that: We are much more aware of our children’s behaviour, and how our level of acceptance dictates how we respond – we now have a much broader level of acceptance which means less unnecessary conflict (sometimes we used to say NO for no good reason). We have learned how to actively listen to our children and identify their real needs, not just react to the behaviour they are displaying at the time. We have learned how to understand and convey our needs to our children, so that they will initiate and willingly modify their own behaviour to accommodate our needs, without us ordering them to do it (sounds too good to be true!). We have learned how to problem solve with our children to get a win-win outcome We now have almost no need to use physical force to change our childrens’ behaviours – ie no pulling, pushing or holding against their will. We have much more meaningful and deep conversations with our children and they are willing to tell us about things they were previously fearful to share. and there is still a week to go….. We have noticed real changes in ourselves and in our children – there is much less shouting, less tantrums, less fighting, and less stress. Our children (9, 5 and 3) have told us how they like the change a lot. Even my 3-year-old son’s play schoolteacher has commented that he is much less aggressive, more considerate and more cuddly than he used to be (he used to be a “problem” child).
It is a very well established course (30 years in Australia).
I recommend it to all parents, and if possible both parents should do the course together, but if you can’t manage that then one should do it. It’s well worth the time and money. The course books out fast so act soon.” – Much happier Parent – Steve
“P.E.T. has completely changed my life. I realize now just how ineffective my parenting skills really were. Also, how ineffective MOST parents are when communicating with their children. When I was about half way through reading the book, I told my husband that this was the first time I’d ever read any book on parenting where it just felt RIGHT. I cannot express to you enough what the feeling was like. I actually said aloud, “WOW! This is how I want to raise my kids!” Everything I had done before reading this book was because someone had told me that’s what I SHOULD be doing. Nothing I tried ever worked, until now.” – Aimee R.
“Dr. Gordon’s influence in my life has been substantial. My parents took a P.E.T. course in the 70′s and raised our family using his methods. I am ever grateful for their decision, as I was always treated as an equal, listened to, and actively participated in solving problems. The approach instilled a strong sense of responsibility in us at a very young age, which included the ability to see the world from my parents’ point of view. The method provided our family a model for communication that preserved the quality and openness of our relationship throughout my childhood and teen years, making life easier for us and for our parents. My parents did not have to resort to blame, punishment, or force to solve family problems. I loved growing up in this environment and feel passionate about helping others create it as well, which is why I decided to become a P.E.T. trainer.” – P.E.T. Instructor
“The P.E.T. skills enable me to be a more nurturing mother on the one hand, and feel greater self-respect on the other.” – Rachel U.
“My confidence in my parenting has been restored thanks to the skills I’ve learned. While other sources instructed to “be empathetic” none taught me “How” to be… Active Listening IS the answer I needed and Method III has helped me problem-solve when I could not do so before.” – M. Lepe
“I feel like I’ve learned some fundamental skills that are proving useful in all areas of life – I’m really excited about the extent to which this is going to change my life for the better!” – Richard B.
“Applying P.E.T. skills has been almost always immediately effective and I have greater confidence in my parenting and as an individual.” – Alix A.
“I found this course really empowering in that it doesn’t require me to assume a different persona when I am parenting – I can remain authentic and true to myself and have permission to be “in charge” without being authoritarian.” – Louise B.
“P.E.T. skills are quite straightforward and easy to use but really make a difference to how my children and I communicate.” – Jenny B.
“I am a professor of physics at Yen-Byun University in China. I have two children, a daughter and a son. I realize now that I was an authoritarian father. I wanted my children to be excellent and I tried to give them the best education. But my son disappointed me greatly. More and more we became a pain to each other. On February 24, 1996 my son had to leave for a job in another city and I had planned to go to the airport to see him off. But he had gone to the airport with my wife. He had gone without saying good-bye to me. I heard later that he had even gotten into an argument with my wife at the airport.
That same day I was to leave for Seoul, Korea. My heart was broken and I was depressed when I got to Seoul. Entirely by chance I met Professor Rose-Inza Kim at Sogang University. I told her of my depression over my relationship with my son and she suggested I take her P.E.T. course. Thanks to her assistance I began the course. It influenced my entire life.
I realized that all parents have to develop new communication skills for their children. I used all kinds of Roadblocks: commanding, demanding and criticizing. If I had taken the P.E.T. sooner I would have been a much better father, a good father. For instance, I would have handled the work situation much better. My wife and I both had jobs when my son was 6 years old so we had to leave him at the child care center everyday. But he did not like it there.
We compelled our son to go to the kindergarten against his will. Once when he was in 7th or 8th grade I told my son “What’s the matter with you? Get out of my sight! I hate you!” As soon as he heard this he ran away from home. Although he came back home a few days later my son had hostile feelings toward me and showed his resistance and anger. He said, “Just wait. When I grow up I will hit you like you hit me.” I was shocked, surprised, and felt miserable. My son began smoking and drinking with his peers. I could not understand him. I became more and more unhappy. “I don’t know what to do,” I exclaimed. “What is the matter?”
P.E.T. was like a shock to me. I applied I-messages and reflective listening in my daily life. I used those communication skills with my wife and our son. Once I talked to him on the phone and said “I feel very sorry now about my previous coercive attitude and behavior toward you. It was my mistake. You must have been very lonely for a long time.”
To my surprise my son burst into tears at my words. He cried on the phone for awhile and then said “I have never been so happy in my life like this moment, father, I never dreamed such a thing could happen in my life.”
Now, my family communicates our deep feelings and thoughts and we help each other. I am really happy now. I can never thank my P.E.T. teacher enough. I hope to introduce P.E.T. in China. It would be a dream come true.” – L. Jang-Sup