Do you ever wish you could stop nagging your kids? Perhaps you hear yourself saying the same things over and over to your kids with minimal response. Maybe you have to repeat yourself several times to get your kids to cooperate.
I don’t know about you but nagging wears me out. When my kids were young and I found myself nagging them, I would even say to them,”You’re wearing me out!” But the truth is that I was wearing myself out by continuing to nag, nag, nag.
Not only is nagging exhausting, it is not the most effective or efficient parenting strategy. The more words we use, the less our kids listen.
If you are tired of nagging your kids and your kids are tired of hearing you nag, here are some steps to do away with it.
Set Boundaries and Consequences Before the Problem Arises
The first step is to be sure your child knows and understands the boundaries and what will happen when they cross them. That means that you, as parents, must decide apart from your children what those boundaries and consequences should be. Agree upon 3-5 non-negotiables and then determine what you will do in each case should your child not cooperate.
For instance, one boundary may be: no screaming or hitting. You talk to your kids about that rule and what it looks like to cross that boundary. You also let them know what the consequence will be should they decide to not comply with that rule.
So that when your child decides to yell at you or hit their sibling, you don’t need to tell them five times to stop, you can remind them that they are crossing the boundary as you discussed and that they must suffer the consequence you talked about. It’s up to you if you want to give ONE warning, but there is certainly no need for repeating yourself over and over.
Use Fewer Words
Your appeals for cooperation can get lost in a barrage of words. When you dilute your requests with too many words, they lose their potency. Keep your asks simple and to the point. “Either you stop hitting your sister (the boundary) or you will be sent to your room for a time out (the predetermined consequence). You decide.”
There is no need to raise your voice or keep saying it. Leave the choice in their hands and if they don’t comply, then be sure you follow through with the consequence.
Using less words means that parents must discipline themselves by not just spewing reactions or emotions, but stop to think about what they say so that they may say it efficiently and effectively.
Train Yourself to Parent Calmly, Not Reactively
Choosing to respond, rather than react out of your frustration, takes practice and a determination to change the way you parent. It is not easy at first, but it is more effective and less exhausting in the long run.
Give yourself a time-out until you are ready to respond instead of react. I’m pretty sure what you say in anger and what you say after you’ve had time to calm down will be two different things.
If You are Feeling Overwhelmed
Making this change in your parenting approach can be daunting. It will take work at first, but with practice and giving yourself grace along the way, you can parent without nagging. If you’d like some more tools to help you parent more effectively and with less stress, schedule a free call here.