Why do we nag? It's obvious to most of us, it's because our kids won't get something done and we HATE that. It might be that they forget to practice piano, pickup toys, do homework, clean their dishes, do their chores, unpack a backpack or pack a backpack. We think we're being helpful but we seem to just get ourselves into the nagging hole, don't we?
We all need to step back and evaluate sometimes. WHY are we in this nagging hole? Yep, it's because we're SCARED that our kids might screw up. They might, I'll say it for you, FAIL. Yikes! It is hard, believe me, I've had plenty of practice at nagging. However, it just never really seemed to solve anything. Each and every day I had to nag about the same things... it was endless. How did I solve my nagging problem? As amazing as it might seem, I just let them fail. The secret, the HUGE secret, is that I let them fail with EMPATHY and as many natural consequences as possible, if there were none then an Energy Drain would do.
EMPATHY allows our kids to know that we are holding them responsible for their poor decisions to do something, or not do something, but we do it with love. If your child forgets to put their homework in their backpack, give them EMPATHY instead of nagging. DON'T put the homework in their backpack either, no matter how much it kills you, just let it be! When they come home from school (or call from the school office) just give them EMPATHY. Try something like, "Wow, that is so sad that you don't have your homework. I don't have time to bring it to school. This must be so hard for you." Resist the urge to lecture and hold their irresponsibility over their head. RESIST!! Instead, be earnestly sad. If you can't do that with words, use the "empathetic grunt" as we call it. "Ugh" or "Hmmm" will do just fine especially if you are the type where your lips start moving and get you into a verbal fight with your kid.
I know this is hard. I get it. I've survived it. The only thing I can say is that it doesn't get better with nagging. It's allowing our kids to "own" their stuff and feel the pain that motivates them to make better choices the next time. It's us standing by them, giving them love and support and telling them they are capable of fixing things that helps. Nagging only teaches our kids that the issues are OURS, not theirs,. They don't have to worry since we worry for them. We need to remember to transfer the worry to them. We might worry behind the scenes, that's ok, but keep Nagging Nelly in her place -- locked up and out of sight!