Parenting on Purpose

Parenting on Purpose


Positive Parenting Solutions: No Nagging Required

posted by srballantine

little schoolgirl in a messy roomWho enjoys a nagging parent? Your kids certainly don’t, and even though they might think you enjoy nagging them, you actually dislike it as much as they do. Who relishes the idea of constantly pushing kids to do their homework or to clean up their room? No one that I know, that’s for sure, it’s exhausting.

As a parent, what you should enjoy is the knowledge that you are raising your kids to become happy well-adjusted adults. You want them to make independent decisions, know right from wrong and make choices that serve their highest ideals.

Unfortunately, many parents believe that nagging their children is part of the “job description.” Fearful that their children will be lost in a mountain of dirty clothes, they nag them to pick up their room or to do the laundry. I know I did at one time.

Is there a more positive parenting solution?

Absolutely.

Whether you want your children to embrace healthy eating choices or to acquire good study habits, you can teach your children to be responsible without nagging them every day. You need to start by teaching them about their Internal Guidance System (IGS).

Fair warning! This isn’t easy for a lot of parents. It means giving up the perceived control and letting your kids decide what to do for themselves. It means there will be decisions that they make, which you would rather they didn’t. This is all part of the process of learning how to use and trust their IGS.

Of course, “controlling” another human being is really an illusion.  It generally requires a lot of nagging, which you have already admitted you don’t like. So, trust your own Internal Guidance System and learn to let go a little bit, while your children learn to trust theirs. This step is essential for their growth. You will be glad you did—and so will your children. There will be stronger sense of freedom in your relationship.

Consider some of the habits that your children have developed that you wish were different. For you, these habits may seem very negative, but they might be completely permissible or in other words, feel good to someone else. If the habit isn’t life-threatening, then you can let your kids tap into their Internal Guidance System to decide if they want to continue these habits or change them. My parenting experience showed me that kids generally grow out of all the habits we found annoying at one time.

If you decide to interfere and force them to superficially change their habits, then you aren’t doing them any favors and the behavior won’t be permanent anyway. And this can also create another habit.

First, they won’t have matured enough to make decisions and take responsibility for those decisions on their own. They may come to believe that unless someone nags them to get something done, it isn’t important. This not a precedent that future roommates, life partners, or employers will value.

Second, the enforced behavior is not really their own, so it is likely that they will not continue with the “preferred” behavior when they are out of your sight or out of your home.

When you decide to let go of your habit of nagging your children, you are providing a model for them in treating others respectfully, as adults. By teaching them to trust their IGS, you give them the tools to become the independent individual they are meant to be.

What more can a parent want for their child?

Please feel free to comment.

© 2014.  Sharon Ballantine.  All Rights Reserved.

 

 



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