PEP Blog

06|29

Stop the Nagging: 7 Easy Steps to Break the Cycle

By Paige Trevor

Definition: Nag: 1. To annoy by constant scolding, complaining or urging. 2. To scold, complain find fault constantly.

We all know we should not nag, hate to be nagged ourselves and surely nag our children many, many, MANY times a day. Why do we do it, and what can we do instead of nagging?

Clinical psychologist and author of “The Blessing of a Skinned Knee” and “The Blessing of a B Minus,” Wendy Mogel says, “We all know nagging doesn’t work, but we are filled with hope. The paradox is that when you keep nagging you continue to fill your child with hope that he or she can continue to outsource the responsibility for whatever needs to get done to YOU [Mom or Dad]!”

Nagging erodes relationships. Kids enjoy (tolerate, hear) one nag. It shows we care, we love them and we notice what is going on in their life. With the second nag they hear, “I don’t trust you. You are not capable. You cannot manage your own life or succeed without my backing you up.” This is NOT the message we want to send. How do we instead send a message of love, faith and encouragement? Here’s a seven-step action plan.

  1. Apologize.
  2. Notice Improvement.
  3. Give a Hug.
  4. Focus on Yourself.
  5. Take Notes and Study.
  6. Ask Questions and Listen.
  7. Work on the Relationship.

I hope these actions will open up new, creative and encouraging ways for you to see and be with your beloved child.

Paige Trevor is a certified parent educator with the Parent Encouragement Program and a leader of PEP’s “PEP I: Parenting 5 to 12 year olds” classes. PEPparent.org. This post was excerpted from the June 2015 article published in Washington Parent Magazine. Click here to see the full article. Photo credit: Jevna Cvorovoc/shutterstock.com

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