primary emotion

A P.E.T. Take on the Short Film "Nobel Prize"

A P.E.T. Take on the Short Film "Nobel Prize"

Watching Tracey Larcombe's Nobel Prize, I cringed, not only as a certified instructor of Parent Effectiveness Training but also as a mother who recognized her former self in the ordering around and the go-go-go. I may never have been quite so harsh, but I have said my fair share of things I regret.

So rather than just lambaste the characters, I thought it might be more helpful to turn a P.E.T. eye onto the situation and imagine another set of interactions.

After all, most of us are familiar with what we DON'T want to be doing when it comes to our kids. The trouble is knowing what better options would look like.

Guilt, Shame & Effective Confrontation

Guilt, Shame & Effective Confrontation

Brene Brown, a mother herself, found that parenting is "a primary predictor of how prone our children will be to shame or guilt.” (page 224) She exhorts us to -- and I love her term for it -- parent with shame resilience as a goal.

So how to do this when confronting our offspring?

With a huge semantic tool: the Confrontive I-Message!

So . . . What About Anger?

So . . . What About Anger?

With all the talk in P.E.T. about how anger is a secondary emotion, however, some participants have seemed stumped and even sheepish when trying to identify their feelings

"All I know is I'm angry, but I'm not supposed to feel that, am I?"

"I know I have to find what's beneath the anger but what do I do about the fact that I want to strangle my kid?"

Gee, I guess we all must have missed the school lesson on how to deal with anger. Hah! So few of us -- are there any? -- have been supported with processing any emotion, much less this biggie.

Doing this important work now, though, means we can give a ginormous gift to our children through modeling and consulting!

Stop the whining! -- P.G.D. #2

Stop the whining! -- P.G.D. #2

Something was wanting my attention.

I paused with my forehead on the doorjamb of the master bathroom. I knew I needed to reflect on this something. But, tiredly, I thought, I don't have time for this. I can't believe I have to do this. Do I have to? Really?  

Yet I knew from experience that it was the only way out.

The Problem with Solutions

The Problem with Solutions

Two things happened recently that made me realize, wow, solutioning really gets my back up. (I hear it's kind of an American thing to make a verb out of a noun but I WAS born in Philly so I'm just going with it.) Don't get me wrong, I'm superb at solutioning; it's just that I don't like being on the receiving end.

Committed to Congruence

Committed to Congruence

I had been so mired in the habit of ignoring myself that I faced the steepest of learning curves. I discovered that, when upset, I was grossly incongruent in the way I interacted with the outside world and, sadly, my kids. What I usually showed was only a sliver of the truth. Not surprisingly, the words I was most facile with on the feelings list were those that had to do with anger.