Modeling positive and effective communication techniques is one of the most powerful ways you can help your child to become a good communicator themselves. When you are frustrated, or angry, this is the hardest, and best time to do this. Here are a few tips:
Keep your message clear and complete.
Steer clear of accusatory "you" statements. Instead, focus on what happened, and how it makes you feel. While you can never be sure what someone else is feeling or why so confine your communication to describing the situation and its effect on you.
Remember your power.
As parents we often feel powerless in interactions with our child, but it's important to remember that you are (in most cases) physically larger and hold all the cards. Avoid threats. They may get you what you want but it will be a missed opportunity to help your child grow emotionally and learn effective communication.
Use your emotions as a tool, not a weapon.
Describe your emotions so that your child can hear the impact their behavior had. You don't need to also show them so make sure that your tone is calm and body language non-threatening.
Stay aware of body language.
Try to maintain an open stance, truck forward, arms uncrossed to communicate that your frustration does not equal rejection. Be aware of what your facial expression is communicating and be sure that it matches your words and tone.
Steer clear of rhetorical questions like "do you really think that's a good idea? Also avoid backing them into a corner with "why's". Instead of asking why the dishes aren't done, instead try just clearly reflecting the situation and communicating your need. "I am frustrated because I asked you to clear your dishes and they are still in the sink. Stop what you are doing now and wash them."
See you all in group!