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Teenager hides tattoo from parents

Can P.E.T. skills stand the test of time?

Coming from a family where her parents held authoritative roles and obedience was deemed the sole measure of being a good child,  Nadia felt she lacked the necessary skills to engage with her own two children. Her eldest child, then 9, possessed a strong-willed nature, which often led to power struggles with Nadia swinging from the role of an overbearing tyrant to a doormat leaving her feeling resentful and defeated. Her parenting tricks – coercion, shaming, and reward charts – yielded short term-results. Seeking long-term results, Nadia enrolled in a P.E.T. course and, as her children began to open up to her, her partner followed suit. That was eight years ago. Recently, her eldest daughter secretly got a tattoo, despite their prior agreement she would wait until turning 18. Could Parent Effectiveness Training come to the rescue?

Thanks to P.E.T., we first asked ourselves how we felt about it and asked ourselves the famous “Who owns the problem?” from The Behavioral Window. It has been a great tool of reference. We then realized that it was a conflict of values and that we had to confront her using a Confrontive-I Message,” Nadia recounts.

Nadia says, had it not been for Parent Effectiveness Training, their disagreements would have turned into intense arguments, potentially jeopardizing her and partner’s relationship with their daughter.

Instead, Nadia and her partner were able to confront her calmly and logically, expressing their sadness at her decision to acquire a tattoo without consulting them. They emphasized that this act was a breach of trust and expressed concern for her well-being, considering the possible risks associated with obtaining a tattoo from a parlor that disregarded parental consent. Their daughter understood her parents’ concerns and the conversation ended peacefully.

One of the most useful skills on my parenting journey is Active Listening Skills, which taught me that there are myriad ways to listen to my children. Now my children open up more to us. When our conversations don’t go well, we know at least how to reflect and see what went wrong, whereas before there was just a sense of frustration after a conflict.

Looking back, I want to thank myself from 8 years ago when I decided to sign up for this course, where I gifted myself with the art and science of building a long-lasting parent-child relationship. After eight years, our family continues to reap the benefits,” Nadia shares.