Parent Effectiveness Training
Authors: Dr. Thomas Gordon

I value  the relationship.

“He uncovers the surprising ways in which
parents do—and do not—prepare their
children for adulthood.”

In the spring term of 2023, A.I.R. carefully selected the book “Parent Effectiveness Training” for its members. “Parent Effectiveness Training” (P.E.T.) is a simple and practical parenting training program created by American psychologist Dr. Thomas Gordon in 1962. It introduces core concepts and basic skills to train parents. The concepts and skills enable them to develop their children’s conscious growth abilities through clear problem definition, active listening, complete expression, and conflict resolution methods that do not create winners or losers. Parents are also able to experience personal growth in the process, leading to harmonious family relationships.

The Gordon communication model presented in this program is not only applicable to families but also to any interpersonal relationship. It serves as the cornerstone of A.I.R. and is a set of relationship principles worth practicing throughout our lives.

Over the reading session of 8 weeks, the facilitators led all members in reading together, group discussions, and sharing of case studies; practicing techniques such as active listening, sincere communication, and utilizing the third alternative that avoids a win-lose scenario in conflict resolution. All interactions were conducted with a respectful attitude towards sharing values. The charity organization chosen for donation in this reading session is the Yonge Street Mission (YSM) and A.I.R. hit a record with the highest donation amount in its history, totaling $12,060 CAD. Members generously contributed funds and donated necessary supplies to YSM. Additionally, A.I.R. second-generation members made valuable contributions by donating over 250 books and exquisite bookshelves to the YSM CornerStone Drive book donation program through this precious opportunity.

Below are the principles shared by Dr. Gordon, which we hope A.I.R. members, as well as their family and friends, can find personal growth from:

“I value and wish to maintain the relationship between you and me, but we are independent individuals with different needs and values. Therefore, we need to consistently uphold sincere and open communication in order to better understand each other’s values and needs.

When you encounter difficulties in life, I am willing to listen with genuine acceptance and empathy, and assist you in finding your own solutions, rather than imposing my own ideas on you. Likewise, when I face problems that need resolving, I also hope you can listen to me.

However, when your behavior affects my needs, I will sincerely and openly tell you how your behavior is impacting me, and I trust that you will respect my needs and feelings and attempt to change those behaviors that I cannot accept. Similarly, whenever my behavior is unacceptable to you, I hope you can sincerely and openly tell me so that I can also try to change my behavior.

When conflicts arise between us, we agree that each conflict resolution is not about one party winning at the expense of the other through authority. I respect your needs, and at the same time, I must respect my own needs. Therefore, we strive to seek solutions that both of us can accept, where your needs will be met, and similarly, I can satisfy my needs. No one will suffer losses, and we both achieve a win-win outcome.

In this manner, you can become an individual who can meet your own needs and continue to grow, and I can do the same. Thus, we can have a healthy relationship where both of us can unleash our potential. In an atmosphere of mutual respect, love, and peace, we interact with each other and establish lasting connections.”