Founder Thomas F. Gordon, Ph.D.
The primary goal of parental education programs is to help parents understand child behavior and develop
Parent Effectiveness Training (PET) use techniques such as active listening, I-messages, and no-lose
problem solving, can be used by any person to interact more effectively with others.
There are three therapeutic goals to keep in mind in dealing with Parental Education. Active listening
deals with interacting, the following steps are involved in active listening: 1. the receiver of a message tries tuo understand
what the sender's message means or what the sender is feeling;and (2) the receiver then puts this understanding into
her own words and returns this understanding for sender's verification. I-Messages are nonblaming messages that communicate
only how the sender of the message believes the receiver is adversely affecting the sender. No-Lose Problem Solving
has two basic premises: (1) All people have the right to have their needs met and (2) what is in conflict is not needs but
solutions to those needs.
Collisions of values are common between parents and their children. First the mother models the values
she holds important. Second, she acts as a consultant to her teen. Third, a mother can reduce tensions by modifying
her own values.
The principles are applicable not only for parents and parent surrogates (such as teachers, principals,
counselors, and youth leaders) but for anyone who wants to improve their interactions with others.