No parent wants to nag their children. As a Type A personality mom running a busy household, I must confess to sometimes wearing the Queen of Nagging crown. It was really no surprise that I frequently got sighs and eye rolls from my kids, not to mention a lack of cooperation. I really couldn’t blame them; even I was tired of hearing my own voice nagging, “don’t leave your toys on the floor,” “no crafts in the living room,” “stop jumping on the couch!” The kids were sick of it and I was sick of it too. It just wasn’t good for anyone.
Luckily for my family, I started a new job that provided me with lots of positive parenting training. As a parent, I was using many of the positive parenting strategies we were discussing, but there were some new ones I was anxious to try out with my own kids. The strategy that stuck with me most was:
Stop telling your kids what not to do and tell them what to do instead.
It seemed so simple, but could it really make much of a difference? I took the challenge of using this strategy right away. That evening, every time I started a sentence with the words “Don’t, No or Stop,” I paused and asked myself, “What do I want my daughters to do instead?”
First off, it was truly eye-opening to me how often I started sentences with these words (insert mommy guilt here). Second, it was hard work in the moment to really think about what I wanted the kids to do instead. Third, it was shocking to see how well my kids responded to my new positive instructions. The results were immediate and amazing. Cooperation in my house sky-rocketed as my nagging plummeted. Everyone was happier and the whole vibe in the house became considerably more positive. I really couldn’t believe the positive impact a simple tweak in how I gave instructions had on the whole family.
So are you up to the challenge of changing your words? Try changing up these common phrases.
It took effort and brain retraining on my part to consciously change my negative go-to phrases into positive ones. But I have to say it was well worth the effort. It won’t always be perfect. There are lots of other positive parenting strategies that go hand-in-hand with this one, but this simple strategy sets everyone up for success.
No parent wants to constantly be nagging their kids, but with a little rephrasing, it is possible to cut down on how often you use “Don’t, No or Stop”. Take the challenge! Give it a try! Let us know how it goes!
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