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Parent Effectiveness Training

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Online or Face to Face courses are now available for your choice.

What is Parent Effectiveness Training?

Parent Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.) is based on a philosophy of respect for everyone’s feelings and needs in the family or teacher/ child relationships.  Meeting children’s emotional needs is vital for raising happy, resilient, secure kids and our needs as parents, carers and educators are important too!

P.E.T. is unique in that it is not focused on simply trying to change children’s behaviours.  Children’s behaviour is usually driven by underlying feelings and needs. Many parenting and teacher education courses focus on trying to change children’s behaviour and therefore miss the underlying causes.  This often results in change that is short-lived and doesn’t help children develop important social and emotional skills.

P.E.T. offers parents, educators and carers highly practical tools to raise emotionally intelligent children, without the reliance on coercive behaviour management such as punishments, rewards, threats, bribes or time outs.

This results in warmer, more connected relationships, and kids who are happier, more co-operative, responsible and self-disciplined. This also makes parenting, teaching or caring easier and more enjoyable!

Who does P.E.T. work for?

P.E.T. skills are equally effective for parents, educators or carers with children of all ages; for step-parents, single parents, foster parents, parents of different cultural backgrounds, grandparents, educators and carers.

Designed to teach healthy communication skills to parents, educators or carers, P.E.T. is a 24 hour course, which usually comprises of 8 x 3hour sessions. The P.E.T. program was developed by award-winning, psychologist Dr Thomas Gordon  60 years ago after extensive research. The course is now taught by accredited instructors worldwide.

P.E.T. can show you how to:

  • Listen so children will feel understood (ACTIVE LISTENING)
  • Grow your connection with your children (PREVENTIVE & RELATIONSHIP SKILLS)
  • Talk so children will understand and help you (I-MESSAGES)
  • Resolve conflict so nobody loses (THE NO-LOSE METHOD)
  • Avoid ineffective communication (COMMUNICATION ROADBLOCKS)
  • Deal constructively with values collisions (CONSULTING SKILLS)

Benefits to families or educators and children in classrooms:

  • Less stress and anxiety
  • Better able to deal with anger and strong emotions
  • Warmer more satisfying relationships
  • Children become self-disciplined, resilient and solve own problems
  • Day-to-day issues are resolved respectfully eg bedtime, chores, homework, going to school, classroom routines, use of social media
  • Children talk more openly to parents or educators
  • Fewer family or classroom conflicts
  • Children more open to parent or educators ideas and their values
  • Parents or educators can comfortably express their own concerns and unmet needs related to children’s behaviour.

Duration: 3 hour sessions offered over an 8 week period (24 hours in total).

Classes: Choice of online or face to face courses are now available. As a skills based program, you will practice your learning within your class to gain confidence in using them in your everyday life or unique situation. Classes are interactive and experiential.

Course Outline: Parent Effectiveness Training

Session 1: Understanding Parent Effectiveness

  • Current issues and problems parents face & how the Gordon Model works
  • Observing and understanding children’s behaviours (avoiding judgement)
  • Factors that affect how parents view children’s behaviour that help or hinder
  • Acceptable & unacceptable behaviours – understanding needs
  • Problem ownership – who owns the problem?
  • Setting personal goals

Session 2: Learning the Helping Skills

  • When children have problems – cues and clues
  • Avoiding roadblocks
  • Helping skills when children have unmet needs
  • Passive & Active Listening

Session 3: Active Listening

  • Conditions for Active Listening
  • Practising Active Listening
  • Supporting children to solve their own problems

Session 4: Preventing Problems & Conflicts

  • Communicating honestly with children
  • Expressing appreciation to children rather than ineffective praise
  • Preventing conflicts
  • Modifying the environment to prevent conflicts
  • Connecting through quality one to one time

Session 5: Confronting Unacceptable Behaviours

  • Avoiding ineffective confrontation when parents have unmet needs
  • Effective confrontation – I-Messages
  • Handling resistance
  • Practising effective confrontation & handling resistance (real life examples)

Session 6: Resolving Conflict

  • Understanding conflicts of unmet needs
  • Ineffective ways of resolving conflicts – pitfalls of using power
  • The No-Lose Method (Method III problem solving)
  • Separating needs from solutions

Session 7: Applying & Practising Method III

  • Practising Method III (real life examples)
  • Mediating conflicts between children (involving children in problem solving)

Session 8: Resolving Values Collisions  

  • Understanding values collisions
  • Options for resolving Values Collisions
  • Risks of use of power
  • Problem solving values related behaviour
  • Effective consulting with children
  • The importance of role modelling
  • Modifying self & the importance of self-reflection.

“As a parent have you found yourself in a world of ‘consequences, time outs and 1-2-3….’ to get action from your child or just to get them to listen! You are not even sure how you got there, you are not happy being there, but you have no idea what other options you have?

Well P.E.T has changed all that for us.

With one of our children incredibly strong minded, everything became a power struggle.
The more we tried to get him to do something or stop him from doing something, the more he would challenge, the more charged our tempers would become; and the ‘moment’ would escalate into yelling, frustration, anger…for both parent and child. The time and energy it was taking to navigate everyday things was becoming exhausting. Why? What were we doing wrong? How can it be this hard?

There had to be a better way! P.E.T.
Before even completing P.E.T. we noticed a remarkable difference in the behaviour of both ourselves and our child. Our home environment has become calmer, more loving, happier, and huge amounts of time and energy are no longer being wasted resolving disputes. We are committed to P.E.T. being our new way of life, throwing previous parenting advice out the window! “I feel…”, “my needs are…”, “what could a solution be?” are becoming the common language in our home. As a parent, being open and honest about how we are feeling toward our child’s behaviour and how it is impacting us is liberating; creating a more harmonious family environment.

Our Instructor’s facilitation of P.E.T made it easy to understand and enjoyable to learn. She kept the entire group engaged and interested throughout the entire day. It was particularly refreshing to have her share many of her own first hand experiences of using P.E.T. with her own children. She encouraged group participation through open conversation, interaction, lots of examples and on the course practice.

P.E.T. has changed our world, and we can honestly recommend it to all parents.”

- Relieved father and mother of three - including twins
Loving Family | About ETIA

About ETIA

The Effectiveness Training Institute of Australia (ETIA) Ltd is a not-for-profit, community based organisation that is dedicated to making courses in communication and conflict resolution skills available and accessible to all people in Australia.

ETIA’s mission is to provide individuals with effective communication and conflict resolution skills to build connected, harmonious relationships.

Our inspiration and programs come from the late Dr Thomas Gordon who is the author and founder of Parent Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.) program and Gordon Training International (GTI).

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