Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Parent Effectiveness Training by Dr. Thomas Gordon ~ part 3

"However we treat the child, the child will treat the world."
Pam Leo

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:

•Ordering, Demanding
•Warning, Threatening
•Exhorting, Preaching
•Advising, Giving Solutions
•And more…

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)

See what Dr. Gordon’s Blog says about I-Messages here.

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.

This book goes on to discuss Method III, The No-Lose Method ~ an understandable method for working with our children to solve conflicts from behavior.

All very useful and eye-opening information.

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.

I truly think this book can change the world,
through our children,
...if enough parents were to read it...

Have a wonderful week!
(remember: you are human, not a God ~ humans make mistakes)
Love & Sincerely, Katie


  1. This is a great site! Good job on the art works!...Daniel

  2. I like the sound of the I-messages.

    I feel (ha...already doing the "I feel" part ...smile) that the explaining of feelings would have to be done in such a way as to not make the child feel manipulated into behaving.

    Seems the I-messages would work fantastically in dealing with back talking, times when the child is not honoring a parent, essentially at times when the behavior IS directly hurting the parent.

    Thanks for the book review...and summaries!


  3. Thank you Daniel!

    And thank you Andrea ~ I completely agree with you,

    Sincerely, Katie


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Katie m. Berggren