Tag Archive: problem ownership

P.E.T. Week 1: Who’s Problem is it Really?


So the first day of PET class is in the books.  And it went very well.  As it turns out, my husband (Z) and I are the only ones in the class, which we actually like.  There are two instructors, both lovely ladies who in addition to teaching parenting classes are Doulas and birthing educators.  We got along very well with them well, which is always a plus!  Our first class was spent going over the basics of what the course is for and laying out what our goals are.  Next we discussed what we consider to be acceptable and unacceptable behaviors in our children – which is completely subjective and personal.  Not surprising, behaviors can move between the two extremes depending on several different variables.  For example, I hate it when my children put their feet on me.  Even I think that seems silly and yet… it just drives me crazy.  My husband doesn’t have that problem.  The kids could put all their feet on him at once and it wouldn’t phase him one bit.  From here we moved into problem ownership.  One of the most important ideas they teach is how to recognize who’s problem it really is and then based on the answer use the appropriate tools.   Z and I had a great discussion on the way home (we drive a little over an hour each way to attend the class)  about some of the issues we are facing in our home and who’s problem we think it is.  It’s really not as easy as it sounds.  For example, children not going to bed at bedtime.. who’s problem?  The parent’s?  The child’s? Or both?  Feel free to leave your thoughts – I can’t tell you the right answer, I’m not sure.  But it’s really interesting to think about.  Our homework this week is to notice things that change what behaviors are acceptable vs unacceptable  and when we run into problems try to recognize who’s problems they actually are.    If you want to learn more about P.E.T., I highly recommend reading the book.  If it really resonates with you, as it did for me, look into attending a class to really get some in depth training and practice (see Gordon Training International for more information.) read more