How to stop your Child Nagging
Posted on January 28 2019
Written by Charlotte Cummings
Nagging from children is often high up on the list of a parent’s day to day frustrations. There are many reasons why children nag:
- Working out where our boundaries are
- Trying to avoid or cope with disappointment
- Learning about the responses of others.
To reduce nagging, we need to teach our children that nagging is not how they get and keep our attention. Instead, the goal is to offer our attention in ways that are more enjoyable for us and our children. So, how do we respond when nagging happens?
Next time you are up against nagging, try:
- Briefly naming and validating their feelings – eg. “I can see that you are frustrated that I can’t do what you want me to do right now. It is really hard having to wait”.
- “I have already told you my answer. I’m going to tell you one more time, then I am going to ignore this”.
- Followed by: “I’m ignoring this now”.
As parents we are all busy, and sometimes we get lost in the 101 tasks we need to achieve in our day. But, to our children, the multitude of things we do for them often don’t meet their deeper need for our attention. A great question to ask ourselves is: “When did I last spend some time giving my child my attention and meeting their emotional needs?”. Often, we will find ourselves realising that their need for our attention is valid, and we can become more responsive to what they are really looking for from us as parents after all.
About Charlotte: Charlotte is a mother of a toddler and pre-schooler, and works as a counsellor in Christchurch.