Parent Effectiveness Training: The Proven Program for Raising Responsible Children by Thomas Gordon

I bought this book from Amazon after reading a blog post by Jeff Atwood. Jeff does not mention this book in his post; he talks about the book “How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk” by Adele Faber; which is based upon the research and lessons taught in the P.E.T book. So after reading the post I bought copies of both books and the P.E.T. book is the one I chose to read first.

Parent Effectiveness Training: The Proven Program for Raising Responsible Children is a fairly technical book, it tries hard not to be, but I feel like it is.

The book focuses on two techniques that are effective ways to communicate and work with everyone around you, no matter your relationship or age difference.

The first technique is Active Listening. I believe correctly applying active listening to your daily communications is great, I think it helps open up others to really talk to you and to create a deeper understanding of what is being discussed. To me active listening means really listening to the person and then telling them what it is I heard them say in my own words. It is not parroting what they said back to them or rephrasing what they said, it is more about making sure that you both are on the same page and letting them know that you really heard what they are trying to communicate. It is a lot deeper than that, but that covers what I see as the basics.

The second technique is the “No-Lose” method of conflict resolution. This one is much harder to describe in a single paragraph, but the basics are working together to find a single solution that makes both parties happy. It is not another name for compromising, but actually looking for a good solution where everyone wins. Big stuff there, I am not sure I understand it well enough to describe it well, but I hope I am able to put it into practice with my child and everyone else.

From the publisher:

P.E.T., or Parent Effectiveness Training, began almost forty years ago as the first national parent-training program to teach parents how to communicate more effectively with kids and offer step-by-step advice to resolving family conflicts so everybody wins. This beloved classic is the most studied, highly praised, and proven parenting program in the world — and it will work for you. Now revised for the first time since its initial publication, this groundbreaking guide will show you:

  • How to avoid being a permissive parent
  • How to listen so kids will talk to you and talk so kids will listen to you
  • How to teach your children to “own” their problems and to solve them
  • How to use the “No-Lose” method to resolve conflicts

Using the timeless methods of P.E.T. will have immediate results: less fighting, fewer tantrums and lies, no need for punishment. Whether you have a toddler striking out for independence or a teenager who has already started rebelling, you’ll find P.E.T. a compassionate, effective way to instill responsibility and create a nurturing family environment in which your child will thrive.

I rate this book an 8 out of 10 and recommend it for any parent.

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