How Come Some Parents Resist Parent Effectiveness Training?
(Excerpted from Dr. Thomas Gordon’s, Teaching Children Self-Discipline, an e-book)
Dr. Thomas Gordon explains in his e-book why parent effectiveness training is important in developing a harmonious parent-child relationship. He hopes to erase here the misconceptions and traditional views that may hinder some parents from seeking out his parenting program. Among those he mentioned are:
- They blame their troubles on the child whenever challenges occur – Jimmy is a “problem child,” Kevin is “hyperactive,” Ray is “emotionally disturbed,” Peter is “bad.” Parents of such children rarely ask whether the problem of their children might have something to do with their own ineffective parenting methods. Thus, they resort to taking their child someplace to be “counseled” or “straightened” out.
- They blame changes in our society for their family problems such as the availability of drugs, the disappearance of the extended family, the increase in the divorce rate, lack of child care, the questioning of basic moral values, and so on. Dr. Gordon believes that although these factors does influence family life, more problems stem from parents focusing on these factors rather than thinking it might be their own lack of skill in parenting.
- Limited thinking that loving your child is enough. Gordon asserts that while love is essential, other factors carries more weight in being an effective parent – like how much time is spent with the child; the ability to use empathic listening; how much of the child’s behavior is accepted, how much is not; knowing that there is a way to resolve conflicts without someone ending up a loser; and so on. He says from experience, parents do not have the skills to change unacceptable behaviors of their children. As a result, they become resentful and angry, or worse, grow to dislike their children because their own needs are not being met.
- Resistance to most preventive efforts. Most parents believe that as long as there are no serious problems in the family then, no reason to seek training. On the contrary, Dr. Gordon stresses that parent training is acquiring knowledge and skills to prevent problems before parent-child relationship begins deteriorating and becomes too late to repair.
- Thinking that other parents need training more. Usually those “other parents” are thought to be the poor, the uneducated, or the “culturally deprived.” The misconception is that only in such families do children become delinquents, dropouts, suicides, or drug abusers. However, evidence shows that serious trouble can occur in all kinds of families.
- We’ve got plenty of time – our kids are still young. This attitude fails to recognize that it’s while children are young that they begin to develop their patterns of behavior, such as thoughtfulness toward others, self-esteem, a sense of responsibility, self-confidence – or their opposites. Parents need effectiveness skills when their children are very young – when the skills payoff the most.
- Troubled kids come mostly from broken homes. Gordon says this is not always the case, in fact divorce can be caused by troubles with kids. He argues that people who lack the skills to be effective in the marriage relationship are likely to be ineffective in the parent-child relationship too. Troubled kids and broken homes may indeed occur together, but it does not follow that broken homes lead to troubled kids.
- Parent training is the same as getting psychotherapy. This idea is another misconception. Dr. Gordon emphasizes that going to a parent training class doesn’t mean a person is “sick” any more than going to Sunday school means a person is sinful. Parent training is an educational experience. It’s not therapy; it is primarily prevention, not treatment.
The P.E.T program offers a practical approach to more effectively resolve conflicts, communicate and create loving relationships with your children. Dr. Gordon urges parents to forego the traditional views about parenthood and give up the idea that kids must be disciplined. In his highly praised program, he teaches some alternatives that really work and more effective non-punitive methods and skills.
Original Article Link: http://www.gordontraining.com/parenting/come-parents-resist-parent-effectiveness-training/#