Using “I” Statements

I statements are an effective way to communicate needs in an unemotional & non-adversarial.

Statements are specific and focused.

Statements tend to reduce defensiveness and animosity.

Using effectively takes practice…it’s not as easy as it seems.

Simply putting an “I” in front of your statements is not enough.

Avoid using the other parent’s name.

Avoid saying, “I think he/she thinks…intends…should…needs to…or, is…”Follow these tips for making strong “I” Statements:

Statement Type Example
Want or Need I need consistency.
I want respectful communication.
Don’t state what the other person should or shouldn’t do.
Feeling I feel angry and taken advantage of when things change at the last minute.
I feel attacked and angry when I am criticized.
Don’t comment on the other parent’s intentions.
Belief or Value I value flexibility.
I believe honoring the terms of the J&D is very important.
Don’t state an opinion as fact.
Impact of behavior Not receiving information from the school makes it difficult for me to be involved with the children’s education.
Not being able to reach the children by phone causes me concern.
Don’t make judgments about the other parent’s behavior.
Request I would like to change weekends, because…
I need help with the children after school next Wednesday because…
Don’t make a demand or assumption.
Apology I’m sorry I was late picking up the children, I didn’t mean to inconvenience you. I would appreciate your understanding.
Don’t deny that you blew it or pretend it didn’t happen.