Friday, June 21, 2024

Crazy Cool Family: Watch Your Tone

Want an awesome parenting tip that will seem really easy to do but in reality is really hard? Ready for it? Here goes:  Watch your tone.

So often it is not what you are saying but how you are saying it.

Here’s an example. The question is “What are you thinking?” First, say it in an inquisitive tone. This says we are curious. Now say it in an angry, accusing, incredulous tone. This says something totally different. It speaks accusation, guilt, trouble.

Same words. Different tone. Better results.

I’m a pretty intense person. I also talk loud. So when I was first raising four little girls, I often unintentionally intimidated them with my tone. My wife kept asking me if I was angry. “Angry?” I would say in an intense tone. “I’m not angry!”

I was reading a book the other day called “The Communication Code.” In the book, it asked this question: “What’s it like to be on the other side of you in a relationship?”

For my girls, being on the other side of me was scary and intimidating. Until I understood the impact of my tone, I could not understand why they responded to me the way they did. As I learned about my tone, I would say the exact same words but calmer and softer, and they would respond to me so much better.

So one way to improve tone is to go from an angry, intense tone to a calmer tone. But also let me share another way that is impactful as well.

At Crazy Cool Family, we call it “Encourage Extravagantly.”

Another example. Say “Great job.” First, say it how we usually do it. Like we are reading an encyclopedia. At least we said it so it does have some impact. Now say it like you cheer for the Cowboys when they score. Watch their eyes light up!

Same words. Different tone. Better results.

Most parents have no idea how their tone is impacting their family relationships. Want to know more? Ask your spouse and kids. And watch your tone – and your words – when they are honest with you.

Changing your tone will be a game changer in your family relationships.

Don & Suzanne Manning
Don & Suzanne Manning
Don & Suzanne Manning of Argyle have 30+ years’ experience parenting 7 kids. Their mission is to inspire and equip you to build your best family. Learn more at

Related Articles

Popular This Week