Question: How do I teach my child to respond with respect when asked to do something around the house?

An Answer from David Ball, LMFT:

You are not the only Dad, Mom or Grandparent who struggles with this problem. Children and teenagers don’t often realize how their responses to parental instructions are received. We adults have to “mirror” back to them that disrespectful statement so they can understand why they get a negative response from us. Be encouraged! Some creative parents helped me to develop this communication tool. If used consistently, it will cure the problem in less than two weeks.

Hold that Thought:

When the child or teenager refused to do a task and makes a talk-back response, say, “Hold that thought. Let me grab my book.” Now open the book. Take a pen. Write down the day of week, date and time. Jot down the task requested. Write down the exact child or teen talk-back response. Now say, “Thank you,” and just walk away. Next time that young person asks you for something say, “Hold that thought. Let me get my book.” Open the book, pick a response and give it back as answer to their request. Cross it off the list. Close the book and walk away. Until all of the documented talk-back responses have been given back, no request will be honored. Once all of the talk-back requests have been crossed out, a very helpful answer is offered.