One kid was talking very unkindly in the morning, was asked to stop and kept going on. In the afternoon on the way home from school...
Me: "Remember the way you were talking this morning? It really wears me out when I have to listen to that kind of talking. Your friend's mom called and asked if you could come over after school today, but I don't really feel like doing extra things when I'm low on energy."
Kid: "You did not! You didn't say I couldn't go!"
Me: "Well, I wanted to talk to you about that. I don't really feel like driving you there now since I'm worn out, but there are some things you could do to help increase my energy."
Kid: "When we get home I'll get you a banana. That will give you energy! "
Me: "Not that kind of energy. It's more like emotional energy. Do you want some ideas of how you can increase my energy?"
Kid: "Like what?"
Me: "Well, I have a bunch of laundry on the bed that needs folding and putting away."
Kid: "No way! Not laundry! How about if I pick up dog poop?"
Me: "OK. That's a good start."
Kid: "It's not just a start! (kind of mad) That's all!"
Me: "Well, while you are picking up dog poop, I'll start folding the clothes and then you can come help me put them away. If you get started right away we should be able to get done in time to get to your friend's house."
Kid: "So what's the problem, you can't move or something? Why do you need energy? That's not going to give you energy. Why don't you just say the truth -- you are giving chores as punishment."
Outcome.... kid walked in the front door of the house and out the back door to do the task without being asked then came upstairs to put away laundry. Did knock a few things off the bed on purpose and then claimed that since they weren't on the bed, he didn't need to put them away, but he eventually did the job and he got to his friend's house.
Wow! What a great amount of control this parent had over their OWN actions that directly impacted their child. We as parents really need to remember that things change when WE change and follow through with our own actions.