1) Have you ruled out that his behavior is in fact deliberate? There are a bunch of things (e.g. hearing issues, processing issues) that could make it difficult for a child to answer questions/engage in polite "chit chat" and could make them surly in the process.
2) If you know that there's nothing else going on beyond "rudeness," I think Tesseract's suggestion below is a good one because it focuses on giving him some TOOLS that he can use (and I agree with Madame Catty's advice as well).
We do a lot of social role playing with our daughter. I find that when I do it OTT/infuse some silliness, she is much more receptive.
I would also try to "catch him being good" -- that is, praise him when he does in fact use his words appropriately and/or when he responds to something.
QUOTE (Tesseract @ 20/12/2012, 10:21 AM)
Sounds like he is avoiding a situation he doesn't like because he either doesn't want to do the thing being asked, or doesn't know the answer. I would look at giving him a few "scripts" to use when he is in this situation. Keep reinforcing that responding is important, and give him options, and make it clear that those options are acceptable. Let him know that he can say "I don't know" or "I don't want to right now" and that this is ok.
This post has been edited by baddmammajamma: 20/12/2012, 02:12 PM
The "I don't know" thing you're probably going to be happy with. But the "I don't want to right now" response requires you to think about how you respond in kind. If the response is "well you have to" then that's not going to entice anybody to respond. My approach is to always allow negotiation if feasible, or warmly explain reasons why we have to do things if they just have to be done. You could also talk about giving him the script and space to say "I just need a moment to finish what I'm doing".
Just some thoughts.