Parenting Upwards – What We Say to Our Parents Affects our Children

Blog post by Larissa Dann.  10th September 2014                    Image used under license from Shutterstock

The respectful communication skills taught in Parent Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.) are universal, and can be used in a range of interpersonal encounters – work, friends – and family.  This article reminds us to use these communication skills with our parents, and is a reflection of my own experience - including a story of dementia.  An uplifting observation by my daughter illustrates the importance of setting the example (modeling) for our children.

Three reasons to avoid saying "I'm proud of you".

Larissa Dann     

"I’m proud of you!"  How often do we utter this common parenting phrase, in moments of pleasure at our child’s latest achievement? With the best of intentions, we want to let our children know of our pride in them.

However – what messages might our children actually hear? What do they perceive - when a parent (or teacher) says "I’m proud of you"?

Can a Respectful Parenting Approach Help Immunise Children Against Narcissism?

by Larissa Dann 

Narcissism seems to be the topic of the day.  But what is narcissism?  And (the big question) - can this personality disorder be prevented?  Could a mutually respectful parenting approach reduce the prevalence of narcissism in our society, and instead help our children grow up as empathic, nurturing human beings?

In the thought-provoking book The Life of I – the New Culture of Narcissism, the author, Anne Manne, explores theories and history around narcissism.  Within the many  take-home messages threaded throughout the book, it is parenting practice, and the prevailing society in which that practice takes place, that Manne identifies as the primary influence on whether a child becomes narcissistic.

Here, I try to summarise her conclusions, then look to possible solutions to prevent children becoming narcissitic adults.

Grandparents and P.E.T. courses

For an updated blog on Grandparents and Parent Effectiveness Training courses, please visit Never Too Late:Grandparents Enhancing their Parenting Skills

Email Feedback from graduates.

 File:OfflineIMAP logo.png  One of the best aspects of teaching this course is that I am fortunate to meet the most amazing people. Parents and carers come to the course for a myriad of reasons - some want to find new skills for parenting, while others may be struggling in this most difficult, yet unappreciated, role. Attending a group focused on parenting allows people to safely share the joys, and difficulties, of being a parent.

Word of Mouth

Word of mouth is one of the main ways parents find out about the P.E.T. course that I teach. I am touched that participants enjoy the course so much that they espouse its value to their friends and relatives. Here are a couple of email enquiries that came my way recently (with identifying information removed): "Hi Larissa. We have heard really good things about your PET course and were keen to find out more/enrol for the next course in May"; and "Hi - my friend has sung the praises of your course and I want to find out more".

Getting Fathers to Parenting Groups (without really trying)

Parent Effectiveness Training in the News: A summary of findings of a research project on men attending P.E.T. courses have recently been published in the Fatherhood Research Bulletin. This is an occasional publication of the ARACY Fatherhood Research Network, produced by Dr Richard Fletcher of the University of Newcastle. The published article is below. To see the poster from which this research was summarised, please look at our research and resources page.


Hello. Welcome to my updated website. On this blog, I will post updates on courses available; sites or articles that may be of interest; and news on Parent Effectiveness Training and related items.


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