Anyone that has ever read my blog knows I'm a reader by nature. Some Mom's don't have the time to read often, or it's not something they enjoy. So for those Mom's, for any Mom (Dad too!), I highly recommend one book you find a way to squeeze in: Parent Effectiveness Training by Dr. Thomas Gordon
Dr. Gordon has some great free articles on his website which can be found here.
If you read no other book on parenting ever in your life, or have never read a parenting book. This is the book I'd recommend! And if you simply cannot bring yourself to read a book. He has audio options, either an Itunes audio book, an audible book or a book on CD selection set for your car, which can be found here.
I enjoyed reading Connection Parenting, Unconditional Parenting, and How to talk so your kids will listen and listen so your kids will talk. But this book, is just my favorite of them all. And I believe that many of the ideas in How to Talk so your kids will listen are taken from Dr. Gordon's method, but PET has a bit of an easier to understand and implement concept if I were to compare the two books.
So what makes this my favorite:
- It's clear and easy to understand.
- It tells you exactly what steps a parent should follow (and how to follow them in your own home) to eliminate being a parent that uses punishment or rewards or from being a permissive parent.
- His methods are able to be used with all age children, non verbal children, to teens.
- He talks about the misconception of the wild uncontrollable teen. And about what it really means is that the parents can no longer use their power to control a child of this age.
Key points of this book:
- Adolescents do not rebel against parents. They only rebel against certain destructive methods of discipline almost universally employed by parents.
- Punishment can be discarded forever, all kinds, not just the physical kind.
- Parents can raise children who are responsible, self-disciplined, and cooperative without relying on the weapon of fear.
- Parents today rely almost universally on the same methods of raising children and dealing with problems from prior generations, and unlike all other institutions of society, the parent child relationship seems to have remained unchanged. Parents depend on methods used two thousand years ago.
- Parents are blamed but not trained. His book trains you. And yes parents do need training!
- This is not a permissive parenting approach.
- He teaches about using a No-lose conflict resolution method verses the win-lose method which most parents employ.
- Using the no-lose method requires a basic change of parent attitudes toward their children. It requires that parents first learn skills of non-evaluative listening and honest communication of their own feelings.
- An effective parent lets himself be a real person. You don't even have to be consistent to be an effective parent.
- He helps parents discern behaviors. A behavior is something your child does or says, not your judgement of that behavior.
- Door openers: These are constructive ways of responding to a children's feeling messages or problem messages. (He gives a list of these, to help us parents out!)
- Talks about how to figure out what is your child's problem and what is a parent problem. It's not a parent problem if the child's behavior in no tangible way interferes with the parent satisfying their own needs.
- Being tuned in to hearing them when they express the I've got a problem feeling. When a child has a problem use active listening. This is not guiding the child's feelings or trying to direct them.
- Effective ways to deal when a child's behavior interferes with a parents need, which are different skills than when your child owns a problem themselves. This is where something called an "I message" comes into play.
- He has great information on Parental Power and all the negatives about using this method on your children. If you use a traditional parenting model, this will really be informative.
- He talks about ways to change unacceptable behavior, he gives 8 suggestions and explanations and examples of how to put those in practice.
- I loved his no lose conflict resolution. Which is essentially the type of compromise you use with your spouse in marriage, brainstorming ideas that will work for both of you.
In closing..... Definitely read or listen to this book. You will not be sorry.