ALWAYS MEAN WHAT YOU SAY.My husband and I are often told how lucky we are to have such great kids (true) or complimented on our parenting skills (which worked out ok too evidently).
Period. That's the whole method. But it wouldn't make for a very long blog post. I want you to get your money's worth. So let me flesh it out a bit for you.
I don't have to write them down now because Kendra already did. Go read it at Catholic All Year.
If you read just the bold parts, then you'll get my verbal version given in response to the above-mentioned comments from friends.
The one thing our girls always add when this comes up is, "You treated us like people, not children."
That's nice to know because it is how we thought of them. Because ultimately it is about respecting each person and making sure they respect you and the family as a whole. It's not always easy. But it is that simple.