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2. Point it out and request a do-over. It is amazing how often kids don’t realize the depth of contempt in their tone, or that their body language screams disdain. So make a habit of drawing attention to it when you see it. Don’t go overboard — the kids said they stopped listening if they heard the same thing 20 times in one day — but simply say something like, “When you say something in that tone, you may not realize it, but what you’re saying is, ‘You’re an idiot, Mom.’” Make sure you use a calm, matter-of-fact voice. Then ask them to repeat their statement in a more polite way, without the body language, poor tone, and eye-rolls. You may have to try this a couple of times if they are in an emotional state, but over time they will get the hang of it. And if they know they will be asked to repeat themselves more calmly and politely, they will soon start self-regulating to be more calm and polite with you.



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