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Dr. Thomas Gordon rocked the parenting world with one idea: if parents mastered effective communication, they would enjoy raising effective communicators.  He first published Parent Effectiveness Training in 1970.  Within five years, it was a worldwide movement. Even though Dr. Gordon died in 2002, many effectiveness training instructors like me continue to teach parents the skills they need to turn around the obstacles they encounter during child-rearing.

You can pick up a copy of his book at any bookstore or at any library.  Tuesday Book Club will meet weekly by phone (and will have a live Austin meeting on August 17, 2010) to cover this amazing classic.  The book has 16 chapters and 5 practice exercises in an appendix.  Here is the format for our first meeting which will be a teleconference on Tuesday, July 27 at 7 AM CDT.  The number for the call is: (512) 501-4531 and code 121014#.  Plan on reading about four chapters a week and on practicing your new communication skills at least 3 hours a week if you want to develop a new habit of communication before the end of the month.  Don’t worry, you can intersperse the practice into your daily activities…in casual conversation with drivers, athletic partners, wait staff, passersby and others.

It is hard to master these skills in just a month unless you really bend your will to that goal.  Here are a few tips that helped our family develop new communication habits taught in this book twenty years ago.

  1. Identify at least one person with whom you can practice the skills daily.
  2. Make appointments with your buddy and keep them.
  3. Practice, practice, practice.
  4. Make a list of example phrases and post on your refrigerator, bathroom mirror or on the notepad of your smart phone.

Most readers who are new to these ideas need room for their own questions to be answered, especially when digesting the first four chapters.  Please post your questions here and they will be answered on Tuesday each week.  I promise you that if you will simply give these ideas a try, you will be amazed at the changes possible within your family and not just with your children.  You will begin to use them with coworkers, friends and everyone you love.

So just a reminder about the calls and live meetings:

First and third Tuesdays at 7 PM CDT via telecomference (512) 501-4531 and code 121014#.

Second and fourth Tuesdays at 7 AM CDT via teleconference (512) 501-4531 and code 121014#.

Live in Austin, Texas, third Tuesdays 6:30 PM at Laura’s Library on Bee Caves Road.

We welcome you to participate here in blog comments and to come to as many or as few of our book club meetings as your time allows.  Better yet, start your own book club!

Until next time remember all it takes is one idea to rock your world!

In friendship,

Lori L. Barr, M. D.

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    Please join in on the discussion of Drive this month. We will talk about self-improvement and how to make it happen quickly.

    In friendship,

    Lori L. Barr, M. D.

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