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Authoritative and Democratic Parenting Programs
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The Big Answer

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You can read a great deal about P.E.T. (Parent Effectiveness Training) throughout this website, and in our ebook novel The Forest Through The Trees, and you may have seen it in action in movies or in practice in television shows (if these get made). P.E.T. or at least one or more of the other Authoritative or Democratic Parenting Programs is absolutely essential for MCs to operate effectively. This section will tell you what exactly P.E.T. is, and where it came from.

The Founder Of P.E.T.

Thomas Gordon, founder of P.E.T., was acknowledged worldwide as the pioneer of parent training. He was a three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee, licensed psychologist, past president of the California State Psychologist Association, and a member of the International Academy of Professional Counseling and Psychotherapy. He has authored six books and contributed chapters in eight others. He has been invited lecturer in Japan, Australia, France, Canada, Bermuda, Switzerland, Holland, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland.

A Parent's Credo

To sum up what P.E.T. is, Dr. Gordon wrote "A Parent's Credo" which states:

"You and I are in a relationship which I value and want to keep. Yet each of us is a separate person with unique needs and the right to meet those needs.

When you are having problems meeting your needs, I will listen with genuine acceptance to help you find your own solutions, not give you mine. I respect your right to develop your own beliefs and values, different though they might be from mine.

However, when your behavior interferes with what I must do to get my own needs met, I will tell you openly and honestly how your behavior affects me, trusting that you respect my needs and feelings enough to try to change the behavior that is unacceptable to me. Also, whenever some behavior of mine is unacceptable to you, I hope you will tell me, so I might change my behavior.

Whenever one of us cannot change to meet the other's needs, let us acknowledge that we have a conflict and commit ourselves to resolve each such conflict with neither of us resorting to the use of power to win at the expense of the other's losing. I respect your needs, but I also must respect my own. So let us always try to find solutions that will be acceptable to both of us. Your needs will be met, and so will mine—neither will lose, both will win.

In this way, you can develop as a person through satisfying your needs, and so can I. Thus, ours will be a relationship in which both of us can become what we are capable of being. And we can continue to relate to each other with mutual respect and love." (Source of this wonderful credo: Gordon Training International. Copyright © Gordon Training International. All Rights Reserved by Gordon Training International.)

Although called "A Parent's Credo," this credo holds perfectly true for a relationship between any two people.

The P.E.T. Course

What the P.E.T. course does is gives the participant the skills to live by such a credo. It teaches: Active Listening—how to listen so kids will feel understood; I-Messages—how to talk so kids will understand you; Rule-Setting Method—how to create family rules that kids will follow; The No-Lose Method—how to resolve conflicts so nobody loses; The 12 Roadblocks—how parents unknowingly block communication; and Consulting Skills—how to deal constructively with value collisions.

Over 7 million people have been helped by P.E.T. courses in every state and in 50 different countries, including China, Greece, Maldives, Mexico, Latvia, Lithuania, Lebanon, Pakistan, Poland and Bulgaria
Over 7 million people have been helped by P.E.T. courses in every state and in 50 different countries, including China, Greece, Maldives, Mexico, Latvia, Lithuania, Lebanon, Pakistan, Poland and Bulgaria

Over 7 million people have been helped by P.E.T. courses in every state and in 50 different countries, including China, Greece, Maldives, Mexico, Latvia, Lithuania, Lebanon, Pakistan, Poland and Bulgaria. In addition, over 5 million people have purchased P.E.T. books. P.E.T. is widely respected, and endorsed by churches of many denominations, by schools, family agencies, by the National Committee for Prevention of Child Abuse, the U.S. Office of Substance Abuse Prevention, and by family service agencies of the military. In addition, P.E.T.'s competitors, at the national level as well as in local parent training programs in many communities, incorporate P.E.T. skills in their courses and use the P.E.T. book.

P.E.T. has been researched and evaluated in over sixty independent studies which have proven that children of P.E.T.-trained parents show an increase in their self-esteem, which endures long after the parents have finished the course.

P.E.T. stands almost alone (except for Aware Parenting, Connection Parenting, Discipline Without Distress, Nonviolent Communication (N.V.C.), and Alfie Kohn's Unconditional Parenting) among parenting courses in stressing the damaging effects of using punishment and unpleasant "consequences" to teach children "a lesson." P.E.T. parenting is clearly democratic—both anti-autocratic and anti-permissive. And children raised in democratic families have been shown to be emotionally more stable, intellectually more mature, and more creative. And they end up in leadership positions in school more often than other children. P.E.T. teaches many effective alternatives to punishment and what is often called "discipline"—new and better ways to get kids to change behaviors unacceptable to parents.

To learn P.E.T. skills and to find a class in your community, write P.E.T. Information, Gordon Training International, 531 Stevens Ave W., Solana Beach, CA 92075, or call them at (800) 628-1197 . The P.E.T. course consists of 24 hours of classroom time, and the schedule depends on the individual P.E.T. Instructor.

Gordon Training International also provides Instructor Workshops so that you can learn to teach P.E.T. In fact, various Workshops will prepare you to teach P.E.T., or L.E.T. (Leadership Effectiveness Training). Becoming a P.E.T. Instructor is one way you can support the success of the MC phenomena in your community once it starts.