During a time where families are spending more time together than ever, it is important that each individual is able to express themselves and communicate their wants and needs. “I” statements are a tool to create a calm, direct and open communication between individuals where each person shares their feelings without diving into the “oh so very common” back and forth arguments without resolve.
“I” statements may seem uncomfortable and unnatural when first put to use but after consistent communication and use of this tool it has been proven time and time again to help diffuse situations which might have previously become escalated. The beauty of “I” statements is that they can be used for people of any age. They are commonly used and deemed very effective in couples’ therapy but as a therapist who primarily works with children, I also recommend the use of “I” statements to model to our children. Parenting during a pandemic has proven to be BEYOND difficult and the stress of being the parent, the teacher, the caregiver, the partner and the protector is a large weight that is bearing heavy on many individuals in our current climate.
To help alleviate some of this stress, I have shared an “I” Statement worksheet that I recommend using with your family and implementing. Creating a space where each individual member can express their feelings and identify their needs that are not being met in a positive way via “I” statements. I recommend practicing these statements and sharing the concept with your children by using role play to convert blaming statements to “I” statements which you can find examples of on the worksheet attached. Please feel free to reach out if you have any further questions or if you would like to receive more in-depth services from one of our many amazing therapists.
Brittany Cox, ACSW | REGISTERED ASSOCIATE CLINICAL SOCIAL WORKER
Brittany aims to create a comfortable and fun environment when working with children and believes highly in the importance of collaboration with parents and guardians in ensuring the mental health of the children with which she works.
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