Inside this post: No one wants to be that Mom who’s always nagging at their children. Sometimes all you need to stop nagging are a few good tools in your toolbox.
“It’s time to get ready for school.
No, it’s not time to play with your stuffed animal.
Didn’t I tell you to put your shoes on? Come on, let’s go. “
Just like that, I’ve become my mother. Her voice echoes in my head. “Why do I have to sound like a broken record to get you to do anything?”
And yet here I am, 30 years later, sounding like a broken record, wondering why I have to sound like one to get my kids to do anything.
At this point, I’m tired of hearing my own voice. No wonder they don’t want to listen to me anymore.
I used to accept this nagging as a way of life. A truth.
I mean, all my other friends nagged and complained and had to repeat themselves thousands of times to get their kids to do anything.
Why was I going to be any different?
I harbored a lot of guilt, too.
I wondered, “What was I doing wrong that made it so my kids just wouldn’t listen to me?”
Then there was the resentment.
It kind of made me angry that no matter what I did, my kids just didn’t follow instructions, and they needed me to repeat it over and over and over again before they even lifted a finger.
I may or may not have had a couple of mommy meltdowns along my path to realizing that there was a better way.
Every day doesn’t have to be filled with nagging.
In fact, once I learned the simple secret to ending my nagging, and it works, it was almost so simple it seemed stupid. How could this simple change the dynamics of my family? I was skeptical, but I was willing to try anything.
Before I tell you about this simple change that you can make today, I want to clear the air about two important things you need to know about nagging.
1. It’s not your fault.
You are not a bad parent.
You are not scarring them for life.
You are not failing your child.
Go ahead. Scrub that guilt away because it’s just not true.
Because here’s the thing. You are reading this right now. Something about the title encouraged you to look into how to end the nagging. You want help. You want to change.
You just don’t have the tools to do it. It’s not your fault. You’re missing key tools to end the nagging.
2. It’s not your kids’ fault either.
It’s easy to think, “Okay, if it’s not me, it must be them. It must be my child causing me to nag and to yell and to repeat myself.”
Sorry, it’s not that either. It is not your child’s fault.
You see, just like you, your child is missing some important strategies and skills to get the things done that you’re asking them to do.
Ready to learn the secret to getting your kids to actually do what you asked them to do?
A Magical Tip to End Nagging Today
I want you to think for a minute.
When you get ready to go to the grocery store, what do you do?
When you have a birthday party to plan, what do you do?
When you have to get ready for a family trip, what do you do?
When you have a deadline at work and need to get a job done, what do you do?
My guess is that you make a list.
See, I told you.
This is crazy stupid simple.
You already have the skill you need to end the nagging today. You already know exactly how to do what you need to do to get your kids to actually do what you’re asking them to do. It really is as simple as making a list.
This works whether your child is 3, 13, or 23.
Making lists, making things visual, and breaking them into smaller steps helps our brain process the information that needs to get done and break it up into small steps so that we can tick off each check mark until it’s complete. It helps us stay on task and on track and not wander and do something else in the middle.
Once I learned this trick and how well it worked with my 12 year old, I was putting lists and charts all over the house.
You should see my house right now.
There’s one in the bathroom, one in the bedroom, one in the kitchen. There’s one in the playroom. I could go on and on.
We have lists everywhere.
One of my kids even has a binder of checklists that he carries around with him to do his different tasks. This has been a lifesaver in my house.
Instead of nagging, I refer to the chart.
Instead of yelling, I calmly point to the chart.
Instead of repeating myself, I hand them the chart.
It really is that simple.
So simple, that I think that when we push these babies out of our body and they hand them to us and place them in our lap in the hospital, that it should come with an instruction manual that says, “When in doubt, use a list.”
It’s that good of a secret that you’re going to use it your entire time that you are parenting.
Now, if you’re sitting here reading this thinking, “There’s no way this will work in my house. My kids are going to fight me. They’re going to refuse. It’s just not going to happen. This lady has never been in my house.”
Well, here are a few tips that you can try to use to help you implement these lists in your home.
3 Simple Tips to End Nagging with Lists
- Get buy-in with your kids.
First and foremost, you got to get your kids on board.
They’ve got to love the idea.
They’ve got to make the chart with you. Make it fun and colorful and full of icons and pictures that make them want to move the item from one place to another.
- Make it simple
Don’t go out and make some elaborate chart that you’ve got to cut and color and paste. No. Make it simple. Stick figures work.
Because let’s be honest…
If we make it elaborate and difficult, we’re not going to want to keep making charts and that to-do list for our kids. We’re going to give up.
- Practice makes perfect. (Okay, almost perfect.)
As with most things we do in parenting, it’s a little bit of trial and error.
You’re going to have to practice with your child. The first few times, you’re going to have to actually walk them through each of the steps. You’re going to have to actually be there for the entire process and show them how to use the chart efficiently.
Once you implement charts and to-do lists and visuals in your home, I promise you, you are going to see a whole new world open up.
There will be no more yelling.
No more arguing.
No more repeating yourself 200 times.
When you find yourself in that dark place of repeating yourself over and over, think, “How can I make this more visual for my child and how can I put this in a chart so that I don’t have to say it over and over again?”
You’ll thank me later.
In my book, The Superkids Activity Guide to Conquering Every Day, as everything you need to make visual schedules and lists for your kids. Plus so many easy tips to make your day run so much smoother with your children.
What began as a simple book with 75 simple crafts, games and activities to help adults and kids manage the most difficult parts of the day (mornings, wait times, mealtime, playtime, learning, and nighttime), The Superkids Activity Guide, slowly became a movement.
The Superkids Movement and Activity Guide is aimed to empower ALL kids to speak up, share their superpowers and learn why they do the things they do so they can advocate for themselves!
No more nagging like our parents use to do. You can have everything you need to help your children listen and get through the day without all the frustration.
So make your list and get your book!
A NOTE FROM AMANDA: Thank you so much to Dayna for sharing her wisdom today. I can’t recommend her new book highly enough! The Superkids Activity Guide to Conquering Every Day is exactly what parents everywhere need to bridge the gap between the struggles their children have and the language their kids understand. I have my own copy and it’s beautiful and filled with so many helpful activities to make my day so much smoother with my kids.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dayna Abraham is the mother to three totally awesome superkids who inspire her every day to be the best grown-up sidekick they could ask for. When she’s not helping her kids conquer the world, she keeps busy by writing at lemonlimeadventures.com, writing books like Sensory Processing 101, STEAM Kids, and Learn and Play with LEGO®, and drinking lots of coffee. She loves getting her hands messy and creating crazy science projects and crafts to keep her super kids at home busy. Before she was a writer, she was a National Board Certified teacher, where she met some of the coolest superkids on earth. As a little girl, she wished grown-ups and other kids saw her as a superkid, so now she’s made it her mission to inspire kids like you to love who they are and embrace their differences. Find Dayna here: Blog | Facebook Page