OWL (Offer of Wise-Minded Learning): Try a Sandwich
Dealing with problems by sticking to the facts translates to ignoring feelings and motivations. You can be right and logical when you state facts, but you’ll probably also trigger defensiveness and hostility, with little hope of inspiring cooperation or effective problem-solving. Try embedding the facts (the meat) within an empathic statement (one slice of soft bread) and a statement about expectations or problem-solving (the other slice of soft bread).
Examples (the meat is in bold):
“You haven’t done your chores.”
Instead: “I can tell that you’re tired from school. I hope you get your chores done by the 6:30 deadline. I want you to be able to use your cell phone tomorrow.”
“You lied about staying on top of your homework! You’ve got D’s in English or Math! You’re in big trouble.”
Instead: “I knew you’ve been stressing about your grades in English and Math, so I went online to check and discovered you have Ds. Let’s put our heads together and figure out how you can get out of this hot water.”
“You’ve been rude to me all week. I’m tired of being treated this way!”
Instead: “I know that you have a lot going on. You probably aren’t aware of how brusque and cold you are when you are in a foul mood. If you can try being more polite, I’d appreciate it.”
Read more about “You Might Be Right, But Are You Effective” in Wise-Minded Parenting: 7 Essentials for Raising Successful Tweens + Teens, chapter 1: Secure Attachment.