Already on ArticleSlash?

Forgot your password? Sign Up

I Messages Instead of You Messages Makes Better Communication

Judy H. Wright

Visitors: 277
 1 vote

Most parents start out each conversation with their children with “You. . . . " For instance, how many times today have exchanges been; “you need to stop that behavior" “You never pick up your toys" “You need to do your homework, chores, turn off the TV, smile more, stop eating so much, etc. etc.

It is no wonder that the children stop listening to us. Every time we open our mouth it is to accuse them of something or give instructions or criticism. When anyone, including you and me, feel that someone is going to be critical, our back goes up and we prepare to argue our case.

Starting with an “I" message is more respectful because unlike the “You" message, they don't imply disrespect or criticism. Children are more apt to cooperate if they feel they have some power over finding solutions to the problem, rather than be named as the problem.

How to do an “I" message

When you use this method of communication, you are expressing how the behavior makes you feel. It is the behavior that is causing a problem for you, but it is up to the child to decide what to do about it.

1. Describe the behavior which is interfering with you. (just describe, don't blame) “I get worried when it is 3pm and you are not home from playing at Aaron's house. I understood you would be home at 2;30. "

2. State your feeling about the consequence the behavior produces for you, “I worry that something might have happened to you. "

3. State the consequence and ask for cooperation, “Because I don't know where you are when you are late, you will either have to not go to a friend's house for awhile or call me when you are going to be late. I don't like to be worried, so I am asking you to be more considerate. Please don't be late again without calling.

This is not a win-lose situation. When conflicts are approached in a win-lose way, everyone feels resentful, overpowered and upset. Family relationship communication is a work of cooperation that is in progress and will continue to need work the rest of your life. When we can treat each other with mutual respect and understanding, life runs smoother.

Mutual Respect is The Goal

Mutual respect is the basis for happy and productive relationships. Without this mutual respect and consideration, there will be little cooperation and honest communication. Remember it is the behavior that caused problems, and behavior can be changed.

Instead of a win-lose skirmish, aim for a considerate solution that takes in the feelings of all of the participants. Be firm but kind in stating what you need and how the behavior effects you personally.

If you would like to learn more about the power of communication in families, please go to for a free eBook on verbal and non verbal ways to share ideas and get positive action.

Artichoke Press is the home site of Judy H. Wright, family relationship coach and author. If your organization would like to schedule Auntie Artichoke, the storytelling trainer, for a workshop please call 406.549.9813.

You are also invited to visit our blog at for answers and suggestions which will enhance your relationships. You will also find a full listing of Thursday tele-classes and radio shows on family relationships. You will think they are designed just for you. And they are.

Please join our community.


Article Source:

Rate this Article: 
Measures to get rid with the Edb “error messages”
Rated 1.0 / 5
based on 1 vote

Related Articles:

Subliminal Messages in Music - How to Use Subliminal Messages in Music to ..

by: Robert D. Watson (July 10, 2007) 
(Arts and Entertainment/Music)

Subliminal Messages in Pictures - Do Subliminal Messages in Pictures Influence ..

by: Robert D. Watson (July 13, 2007) 

Subliminal Messages How Can They Be Used?

by: Jonathon Jones (July 28, 2008) 
(Self Improvement/NLP Hypnosis)

The CIA and Subliminal Messages

by: Michael McGrath (July 23, 2008) 
(Self Improvement/NLP Hypnosis)

How to Get Your Ads and Messages Noticed

by: Daniel Gebura (July 23, 2008) 

Subliminal Messages What Are They?

by: Jonathon Jones (August 01, 2008) 
(Self Improvement/NLP Hypnosis)

Getting DLL Or Other Errors Messages?

by: Frans Nieuwenhuis (July 26, 2008) 
(Computers and Technology/Software)

Subliminal Messages How Do They Work?

by: Jonathon Jones (July 23, 2008) 
(Self Improvement/NLP Hypnosis)

Romantic Text Messages

by: Tony Edoka (August 23, 2008) 

Measures to get rid with the Edb “error messages”

by: Bjorn Andersson (August 28, 2010) 
(Computers and Technology/Software)