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Discipline: Nagging my child

When you tell your children over and over again to do something, they can become pretty good at tuning you out.

Here are several ways to avoid nagging all the time:

  • Talk to your child when everyone is calm, about what is expected, what the rules are and develop a schedule for the tasks.

  • When your child doesn't do what you want, instead of nagging, go to your child, get his attention, ask what he is feeling about the task and why he is hesitant to do it. Then, after you've dealt with your child's reasons, in a calm way make it clear what your child is to do.

  • If your child often refuses to do, or never gets around to doing what you expect, speak to other parents to find out if what you're expecting is reasonable. And ask what they do that works, instead of nagging, that gets things done.

Don't nag to the point where you're yelling and making threats about what will happen if your child doesn't do what he's asked, especially threats you know you won't carry out. ("If you don't pick up your coat, you'll have to wear it for a week straight!") This is usually ineffective. Once you've lost your temper, all that most children think about is how upset you are. Be calm and consistent. Say what you mean, and mean what you say. Follow-through is very important.

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