Respectful communication shouldn’t be that hard, should it?
I mean, especially between parent and child…
Plain and simple you are either being encouraging – or your aren’t.
Take some sort of “bad” outcome.
Susie didn’t make the volleyball team.
You can either be empathetic: “I’m sorry your heart is hurt.”
Or you can be encouraging: “I bet with practice you can make the team next year. Or if volleyball is not for you, I can think of 20 other sports and activities you would be great at. Keep going. I love you. You are gonna be awesome wherever you land.”
“Language that nourishes self-esteem,” I like that line.
We want to put an end to talk that wounds the spirit and search out the language that nourishes self-esteem. We want to create an emotional climate that encourages children to cooperate because they care about themselves, and because they care about us. We want to demonstrate the kind of respectful communication that we hope our children will use with us—now, during their adolescent years, and, ultimately, as our adult friends.
-Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish, How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk (Amazon)