A Simple, Yet Not Always Easy Approach to Ending the Nagging….

Jan 22, 2024

If you are a parent you have probably found yourself repeating instructions like, “clean your room”, “put your laundry away” and/or “feed the dog”.  And my guess is that each time we have to repeat ourselves, we are likely getting increasingly frustrated with our children.  

Parents are often led to believe that offering a reward or issuing a consequence will help motivate our children to do what we are asking them to do.  

But I ask you…does that work?  

When you issue a consequence does that keep your child calm?  I can probably bet that when you use a reward system or a consequence, it may work in the short term, but it often doesn’t work long-term, if at all.  It is also likely that your child escalates in their own frustration that they are being pinned to the consequence.  And finally, I’m sure it doesn’t help in creating a partnership and working alliance between you and your child.

So then what will work?  Well, sad to say there is no magic pill.  But what I can tell you is that there are some simple things you can do to start shifting the power struggle and the nagging.  

First, be curious as to WHY your child may be having a difficult time completing the task you have asked them to do.  There has got to be a reason, it may not be a reason you agree with, but kids do well when they can.  So what is getting in the way of your child completing their daily chores or meeting certain expectations?

Second, help your child understand why it’s important to you that the task/expectation is met.  Just like you don’t have to agree with their reason, they don’t have to agree with you, but in all fairness, they should take it into consideration.  

And finally, partner with your child to find a solution that works for both of you- that meets both of your concerns.  Ideally, have the child generate the solution(s).  

When we shift our mindset away from our children being defiant and disobedient and move to a place of curiosity and partnership, the dynamic shifts in a way that will lead to more collaboration.