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April 23, 2024

Where Every Family Matters

Quit Your Nagging!

When you need your child to do something, asking a few simple questions of her may be a lot more effective than becoming a nagger-in-chief.

Day in and day out of busy, busy, busy lives with kids can have its way with you and before you know it, you're nothing but a nag. Plenty of parents have a hard time getting their kids — or each other — to participate in the running of a household chores, the errands, the driving, and the taking care of all the things that go into the busy lives we lead. But being the Nagger-in-Chief will make you NO FUN and leave you feeling drained and unhappy. Here's a brilliant solution to stop feeling like all you do is nag, nag, nag from Elizabeth Pantley, author of Kid Cooperation: How to Stop Yelling, Nagging, and Pleading and Get Kids to Cooperate.

PROBLEM: I feel like all I do is nag to get things done at home. Help, I'm not liking ME right now.

SOLUTION: Ask your family members questions instead to get them to do what you want. Place the power into the hands of your family members by asking them questions instead of nagging. Examples: Q: Where do dirty clothes go, James? A: The hamper! Q: When do we go to the potty, Ashley? A: When I feel like I have to go! Q: What do you say to your friend for having you over to play, Thomas? A: Thank you! Q: Where do your dirty cleats go, Bailey? A: In the garage!

More Ways to Quit Nagging Your Family

1. Don't insist that everything has to be done on your schedule! For example, instead of demanding that the boxes be moved immediately, ask, "When are you planning on dealing with those boxes?"

2. Notice the good and Praise It! Don't be so quick to notice the bad! If you see any favorable movement at all from one of the kids or your mate, say something! This is the quickest and easiest way to get your family behaving better for you, and it will make you happy, too.

3.  Remember to spend quality time with your kids and mate. In the middle of how hectic life can be, stop sometimes and just enjoy your family. Watch a TV show together. Take a walk. Go to the movies.  

About the Author

Susan Swindell Day, Editor

Susan Swindell Day is the editor in chief of Nashville Parent and the mom of four amazing kids.