What Happens When Method III Doesn’t Work?

Your success with Method III will increase with time as you become more and more skillful with the process and your Active Listening, I-Messages and Gear-Shifting skills become more natural. As your children and family members’ level of trust and comfort with Method III grows, your success rate also increases.conflict family parenting

When Method III does not work, it is usually related to one of these factors:

  • The skill, experience and comfort level of the parent is lacking.

What to do – continue to develop your skills; use Method III in No Problem Area decision making, e.g. planning for a fun family week end. Use it first on small problems before taking on big ones.

  • You consciously or unconsciously revert back to Method I or II due to stress, pressures or not having your PET skills integrated as your natural communication process.

What to do – Active Listen to their feelings, send an I-Message about why you did what you did and reaffirm your commitment to the relationship; return to using Method III.

  • The child or other person did not buy into the process and resists trying it.

What to do – go back and Set the Stage before beginning Step I. There are clear limits of time and/or resources or the chance for physical harm is imminent.

What to do – explain the situation, e.g. must leave now because there are only 30 minutes before your flight leaves, etc., take action but make the commitment to use the process when time or resources are more plentiful.

  • The child or other person is not ready because they are “flooded” by built up mistrust, anger, resentment or other strong feelings.

What to do – before you try Method III, invest time in Active Listening to the child and in sending I-Messages to improve the relationship.

  • The unacceptable behavior(s) and solution of your child do not have a tangible and concrete effect on you.

What to do – this may be a Values Collision, use the Values Strategies found on pages 301-30 in the P.E.T. text or on pages 110-112 in the P.E.T. Workbook you received if you took a P.E.T. class.

  • Either one or both of the parties are firmly fixed on their solution and are not willing to consider options.

What to do – while this is still a conflict of needs, it is a difficult situation and the chances are that some very deeply-held values are involved. Either that or there is another underlying need/ reason why one or both of you are not willing to consider options.

If you are the one unwilling to consider options, ask yourself why and spend some time making sure you have really identified your needs underlying this situation. If the other person or both of you are firmly fixed on a solution, go back to Step 1 of Method III and work for a better definition of both the other person’s and your true needs and then re-solve the problem.


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