I can't believe I stumbled on this thread today (of all days!). Today I think I felt a little pressured and grumbly. I would no sooner sit down to review some student work that I would hear "Moooooommmm!" or crazy dog-play. I was being constantly interrupted. When DD put her body over my hands at the computer and grabbed at one of the ragdolls we're finishing (late xmas present) and some of its hair went in my coffee, I snatched it from her.
Well, let's just say I hit a trigger for dd. Any time she's been anti-mom it has been a direct reaction to me not trusting her, or doing something that makes her feel as if I don't believe in her abilities. And you know what, She's right!! If I was reaching over her and did the same thing, and she snatched the thing, I'd feel the same way!
It boils down to this: If we could tolerate hearing whatever it is we are saying to a kid, from the kid, then we're probably setting a great example. But! If kiddo ever said "now, mom, get that food over to the table before you do ___" or "if you don't finish those sprouts you'll have to spend time in your room", or "if you're feeling bossy then you can take yourself out of this situation and cool off", and it would not go over so well, it might be worth a look at the style we're using with a kiddo, and whether we would want that kiddo to use our words too. We can still be parents and get the dishes done, and we can get polite and caring kids out of the mix, but it helps if we are showing them the way. I do not want a bossy kid, so I must choose my style carefully and not be too bossy myself, dig?