A little flash of insight from the other day:
My son, age 3 -- in a most demanding tone -- calls from behind me: "Dad, put on my shoes!"
My second instinct was to turn to him, and with a stern voice, tell him: "Hey, that's rude, you don't tell daddy what to do -- you're such a little turkey, why can't you be sweet like your sisters?"
Fortunately for me, my first instinct is to not do anything rash because some mistakes can be very hard to fix.
As an adult, I've spent literally thousands of hours interacting with other people and watching others interact with each other. I know what words and phrases imply, and that even slight differences in tone can send very different messages.
My kids on the other hand, even the older ones, are oblivious to most of that. Usually the content they're wanting to convey is perfectly fine -- they just don't know how to say it.
Sometimes they just need the words.
So I turned to my sweet little boy and said, prompting him, "Dad, can you help me get my shoes on please?"
"Oh -- Dad, can you help me get my shoes on please?" he said with a smile, happy to know the right thing to say.
"There's my sweet boy."