Read these statements and think about how they make you feel:
- You always yell and have a fit whenever you don’t get your way.
- You never remember to feed the dog.
- You’re too lazy to clean up your dishes!
Now let’s rephrase these same statements into requests.
- I feel irritated when you yell at me. If you’d like to do something different, please let me know using a respectful tone.
- I’m frustrated that you don’t remember to feed the dog on your own. What can you do so that you can remember your chores without my reminder?
- When you leave a mess in the kitchen, I feel angry. How can things change so that you remember to clean up when you’re done in the kitchen?
By using a request instead of an accusation, you increase the likelihood of getting cooperation instead of resistance from your kids.