In 1975, I read Parent Effectiveness Training by psychologist Dr. Thomas Gordon. 40 years later, I’m still recommending the Parent Effectiveness Training book. Why? Because it works … and it works well with Montessori principles.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links (at no cost to you). This is NOT a sponsored post. I just believe in Parent Effectiveness Training and feel it’s something that can be helpful for all parents.
I was excited to learn the techniques from the Parent Effectiveness Training book as a preschool teacher in 1975. I recommended the book to many parents as a Montessori teacher, I used the techniques with my own children, and I’m continuing to recommend the book today.
- Parent Effectiveness Training uses proven communication techniques based on the work of Carl Rogers. Active listening techniques have been used for years in counselor/client relationships, and Parent Effectiveness Training gives parents the opportunity to learn the same techniques. (I was lucky that my husband, who was a Jungian psychotherapist, was already trained in these techniques and naturally used them with our children.)
- Respect for the child is an important part of both Parent Effectiveness Training and Montessori education.
- Using Parent Effectiveness Training’s I-Messages helps both parent and child learn to communicate without blaming the other.
- Like Montessori education, Parent Effectiveness Training doesn’t use rewards or punishments.
- Parent Effectiveness Training’s No-Lose Method of Conflict Resolution is positive for both parents and children. It also helps children take a more active role in developing rules and ultimately self-discipline. It has similarities to Montessori’s concepts of peace education and conflict resolution.
- Parent Effectiveness Training techniques worked for me as a teacher and as a parent. As a parent, I loved that, because of the habit of having open and honest discussions from the time they were toddlers, my kids didn’t go through teen rebellion. They were able to talk through any problems with my husband and me, and we were always able to find a solution.
You can read more about my family’s discipline methods and Parent Effectiveness Training in these posts at Living Montessori Now:
- Is Spanking Necessary? My Answer from Experience Is a Definitive NO
- How We Used Gentle Discipline in Our Homeschool
In addition to Parent Training, Gordon Training International offers Leadership Training, Sales Training, and Conflict Resolution Training. There’s also a Parent Effectiveness Training, P.E.T. Facebook page with lots of interesting articles.
Note: During the toddler and preschool years especially, I like to use logical consequences along with Parent Effectiveness Training techniques. I always used principles consistent with “a Montessori approach to discipline.” As my kids grew older, Parent Effectiveness Techniques became the primary method I used. If you’d like to know more about using logical consequences, I also recommend this book (also Montessori compatible) by Amy McCready:
You can find a review of If I Have to Tell You One More Time…The Revolutionary Program That Gets Your Kids to Listen Without Nagging, Reminding, or Yelling at my Living Montessori Now blog.