Thursday, September 23, 2010

Ask, Don't Tell

As the second edition of Family First Fridays, this topic applies to both your spouse and children. Since I think mostly women read this blog, I am going to use "husband" instead of "spouse", but if you're a man, obviously change it to your wife!



Today's topic is.....drumroll, please......



Ask questions, rather than tell others what to do.



What do I mean by this?

Instead of telling your husband, "Take out the trash," replace it with, "Would you mind taking out the trash?"
See how much softer of a tone that is?

Instead of telling your kids, "Pick up your toys," ask them, "Would you please pick up your toys?"
You will find, more often than not, they'll do what you ask....but rarely do what they're told.


When you tell someone what to do, they automatically get defensive. It's human nature. But when you ask them, they have the power to say no. Even though they'll often say yes, they just want to know that they could say no.


Creating a peaceful atmosphere in your home is so important. Asking others to do something, rather than tell them, brings out a gentler side of you, therefore bringing peace into your home.

Try it. Next time you need your child to do something, ask them to do it. They may say no. If that is the case, then you can state the command. Obedience is important, and asking is not being a permissive parent. Rather, it is giving them the opportunity to make a wise choice. However, if they choose not to listen, you can, then, state the command.

In our home, the conversation might go like this:

Me: Caleb and Chloe, would you please put your dishes in the sink?

Caleb: Sure!

Chloe: No! (hey, I am just being real...."No" is her favorite word)

Me: Chloe, please put your dish in the sink.

(What do you do if he/she still doesn't listen? I will address disobedience at a later date).

I would still be gentle in my delivery, but the question changes to a statement.


With your husband, it is obviously different. He is not your child. They don't have to obey you. In our house, if Brett does not do what I ask, it is, typically, because he honestly forgot. So I will say, "I know I already asked you, but in case you forgot, could you please take out the trash?"

There may be exceptions to the rule, but usually, you should always ask your husband to do things, not tell him. And never, ever nag. Ever. Nagging is the worst!

It is important to communicate with your husband. As I said, when Brett does not do something, it is usually because he forgot. If I remind him, he does not view that as nagging (I know because I asked him). But some men might, so be sure to talk about it before the situation arises.

If your husband still is not helpful, that is also a different topic for a different day. For now, I will stick to today's wisdom:


Ask questions, rather than tell others what to do.

And watch the atmosphere in your home change.

1 comment:

Thanks for reading! I would love to hear from you!