I have just finished Dr. Thomas Gordon’s book Parent Effectiveness Training ~ and there is a bit more I’d like to share to go along with the previous posts reviewing/outlining his book.
We stopped at Active Listening previously, and how Active Listening encourages the child to meet his own needs and seek solutions on his own vs the parent presenting pre-packaged solutions.
First, we listen.
Then, we share our feelings so they will listen to us, and how their behavior affects us. Dr. Gordon lists some ineffective ways we respond to our problems, caused by a child’s behavior:
•Advising, Giving Solutions
Children resist being told what to do, or may not like our solutions. They may feel we don’t trust their problem-solving skills.
Dr. Gordon suggests I-Messages vs. Put Downs like criticizing, blaming and shaming, psychoanalyzing and instructing. (or You-Messages)
I-Messages: Telling your child how their behavior is making you feel. This leads to honesty. And, for me, goes back to a point made early on in the book: (me paraphrasing) Parents are Humans, Not Gods. And children want to know that we are humans, and we have feelings too. They do not want to hurt us, but sometimes they do not realize how their actions affect us.
I like the idea of being completely honest with my children, and have followed that idea for all of my parenting years (which are only 6, I have SO much to learn).
The parts of the I-Message:
1) The Descriptions of the Behavior (Behavior)
2) How it makes you Feel (Feeling)
3) The concrete effect the behavior has on you (Effect)
Thinking about these parts may help us to realize when the behavior is worth fussing over ~ especially if the behavior really isn’t effecting us.
I’d like to think that I am able to summarize his book further, but alas… I hope I have enticed you to continue your exploration of these topics.
I HIGHLY recommend you learn more at Dr. Thomas Gordon’s blog.