Expert: make kids part of the solution

Parents should give their children more responsibility.

This is the way to resolve conflicts without making children the losers. This is recommended by parenting method advocate, Parent Effectiveness Training.

Established in 1962 by Nobel Peace Prize nominee Thomas Gordon, PET emphasises that children should be given more responsibility instead of the usual rewards and punishment.

The idea was recently introduced to Hong Kong.

Key concepts involve active listening, sympathetic messages and no-lose conflict resolution. International master trainer Stephen Emmons said, “Being a parent is the most important job in the world, but very little attention has been given to teaching and encouraging parents.”

Emmons said PET can help parents to engage children in problem-solving instead of fixing the problems for them. “Children feel they are part of the solution if they are engaged in the problemsolving process,” he said.

Another expert said active listening can help parents share important values with their children, so that they do not shut the door.

Instead of rewards and punishment, PET establishes self-discipline, advocating a no-lose method.

Emmons said if an authoritarian method is adopted, either parents or children lose. But PET can help both fulfill their needs with no one losing. He said parents should think of their anger as an iceberg with different emotions such as fear and worry lying underneath.

(This article is published on Junior Standard on 18 May 2016)

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