In the northern hemisphere, oh, it's been summer for quite a while now. Kids home from school. Changes in routines. Heat. The promise of MORE heat. In Texas, a month of days over 100 degrees. Car trips with rest stops that are crowded and unplesant and there's too much junk food. Or not getting a vacation at all.
In most cases, we are spending more time with family -- kids home from school, relatives visiting, trips to see cousins, vacations -- and nerves are on edge.
It isn't called The Dog Days of Summer for nothing!!
Try using I-STATEMENTS.
People try and get us in to "control" battles about things we really can't. Try saying what YOU will do or allow, not trying to tell THEM what to do. It shares control and gives options. It 's enforceable, because it's about you. Here are some examples. Share yours!
My car leaves at 2 p.m.
I'll be happy to buy ice cream cones for people who clean up their rooms.
I have lunch with people who are pleasant.
I'll take you to the ___ when I don't have to worry about fighting in the back seat.
in the back seat.
I'll listen when your voice is as calm as mine is.
I keep the toys I have to pick up. You can keep the ones you pick up.
I'll enjoy buying you clothes that I feel are appropriate.
I'll be happy to listen to you as soon as Mom and I finish our conversation.
Give the other person a choice, using statements like the ones above.
Last point, and this is what's really tricky. These statements are not "natural." Usually we read about them, they become vogue. At first they're new, but then other people 'catch on.' The trick is to keep them fresh, and make sure your tone of voice doesn't become mocking or sarcastic.
Give them a real chance to work.