|You want your child to:||Instead of this:||Say this:||Which is better because:|
|Go to bed and stay there||"If you get out of bed one more time, I'll scream."||"After you go to bed, I expect you to stay there."||The expectation for the behavior is clear and unemotional.|
|Eat her peas and carrots||"You're going to sit at the table until you finish your peas."||"Remember — no snacks after dinner."||It reminds her that the kitchen's closed, but she can still choose whether or not to eat.|
|Do her homework||"You can't play until your homework's done."||"I'll drive you to Ellie's as soon as you finish your work."||It rewards instead of punishes.|
|Brush her teeth||"No bedtime story if you don't brush your teeth."||"It's time for bed. What do you do first to get ready?"||It lets her know it's time for her bedtime routine without being punitive.|
|Behave in the grocery store||"Stop running now or no TV when we get home."||"Can you help me find the cereal you like?"||It distracts from the negative behavior and offers a positive alternative.|
|Feed the dog||"Feed the dog or we'll give him away."||"The dog looks hungry. Here's his food."||It reminds your child of her responsibility.|
|Ask without whining||"If you whine once more, I'll take your Powerpuff Girls away."||"I'd like to listen, but I can only understand your normal voice."||It lets her know you're interested in what she's saying, but won't accept the tone.|
|Clean up her room||"No dinner until your room is clean."||"I'd like you to pick up your toys and put them in your toy chest. Do you want to do that before or after dinner?"||It makes your expectations clear, but also gives your grade-schooler a choice.|
|Stop tattling||"I'm not taking a tattletale to the playground."||"It sounds like you're upset with your sister. You need to tell her why."||It helps your youngster understand that kids have to work it out together.|
|Be quiet in the car||"If you scream one more time, we'll turn around and go home."||"I'm having a hard time driving. I need to pull over until you're settled."||It lets your child know the effect, limits, and consequences of her behavior.|
Dorothy Foltz-Gray is a freelance writer and mother of two in Knoxville, Tenn.
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