Nagging is one of the problems faced by many teens. Your parents may constantly asking ‘have you done your homework?’; ‘Have you clean your room?’; ‘What time will you be home?’. Relentless nagging may be one of your parents’ talents.
Nagging is often a problem for parents who try to be lenient or permissive. They don’t want to get angry but are constantly asking questions. Parents learn this habit of nagging from their own parents, or they do not know better ways in getting you do your chores. Most parents learned about parenting through on-the-job-training.
Your parents probably spend enormous amount of time and energy in wanting you to become responsible. You may think that the only way for you to escape your parents’ nagging is when you leave home.
Why do they nag?
Most parents nag because they care, they want to be part of your lives, and they want to understand you. Your parents want to have a good relationship with you, but at the same time they still have to maintain the role of a parent in protecting you from harm and want you to be safe. Parents also want you to learn about responsibility.
Help your parents to stop nagging
1. Get a dateline for any chores your parents ask you to do.
Most parents forget to include dateline when they asked you to do chores. Agreed on a specific dateline for completing it. Negotiate with your parents that they can’t say anything before the dateline, and if you exceed the dateline, they have every right to stop you from what you are doing and get you to do the chores, as agreed.
2. Reassure them.
Do not ignore the nagging. Get chores done at a certain time. Reassure your parents that you will get something done on time, or you will be safe. Nagging might lessen.
3. Provide them with information they need.
For example, your parents do not know how much homework you have, when are you going to do it, how long do you think you can complete it. When they do not have the information, they will get anxious and worried that you may not be able to complete your work. Volunteer this information to them. Plan on when and how will you be doing your homework. Inform your parents before they can ask. Then update them on your progress. Parents cannot nag for information they already have.
4. Provide them answers to questions.
You have the power to be able to answer questions before your parents could ask you. Questions like ‘Where are you going?’; ‘What time will you go?’; ‘What time will you be home?’; ‘Who else is going?’; ‘What movie are planning to see?’; ‘How do I contact you?’ etc. These are the usual questions that parents will ask. Provide them the answers before they ask. You might surprise your parents!
Tips for Parents
Nagging does not work!
Nagging only make your child resent you. You children will tune out and stop listening to you, if you continue you habit. It will make your child feeling controlled and nobody like to feel this way. Nagging is negative reinforcement, it focuses on negative behaviour, which only be strengthened when you keep focusing on it. Nagging is a way to find fault, making you kids wear down, not building them up. Children model your behaviour, and if you nag, your kids will communicate with you the same way.
What are better alternatives to nagging?
You can state rules clearly and give consequences. For example, if you want you kids to do their homework, you probably can say, ‘It’s up to you, if you don’t do your homework tonight, you will not be able to watch tv for the rest of the day’. This actually gives your child some control and teaching them responsibility of their own behaviour.
Pay attention and focus on positive behaviour. Praise and reward them for good behaviour.
If you want your teen to do a chore, get his/ her full attention, make firm, consistent requests with clear limit, and give consequences if the task is not completed.
– Written by Dr Norharlina Bahar –
( This article first appeared in MyHealth Portal )