Does Your Morning Start with Nagging?
I had a moment this morning as I was walking to school with the kids. I overheard a mom friend of mine, reminding her children that it was time to get going to school. From the tone of her voice and the words she used, I sensed that she had said this same statement multiple times.
This helped me feel better about the number of times I also must remind my children to get moving. The number of times i remind them to brush teeth, to get dressed and the many other tasks that must be accomplished in the morning before school.
It made me realize that we all sound the same. We are all going through a similar challenge in the morning in our own houses, in our own voices, in our own ways. But the reality is that we all ‘nag’ our kids to get moving. Or do we?
The shift I am making for myself and want to encourage others to adopt is the discontinuation of the word ‘nag’. I prefer to reframe it in a more positive statement… I am encouraging my children to take action (ECTTA). I am an EAP: encouraging action parent.
I believe reframing how we see our parenting requirements is extremely powerful. Not only does it put us in a state of being a positive role model for our children, it also is changing the energetic vibration around that interaction and the energy in our own body.
The tone of voice we use and the choice of words we choose also play a role in how we get the action from our children that we desire.
Research has shown that often getting down to their level, making eye contact, giving specific and clear instructions about the action you want the child to take (instead of yelling it from another room, or speaking softly and gently and having to repeat yourself a multitude of times) is more affective.
Additionally how we show respect to our kids when they want our attention and for us to take action will impact how they reciprocate the behaviour to us. If every time they ask for our attention we are looking at our phone and telling them to ‘hold on a moment’, what more can we expect then to be treated the same way. I am trying to be more mindful of my own behaviour in this area. Due to the nature of coaching, I am often receiving messages which in actual fact are not always critically urgent. This is a work in progress. Evaluating the urgency of each situation, but realizing more often then not, my time with my children is worth more and should be given more priority. It is a juggling act for sure.
Repeating ourselves is never fun. It is frustrating. Ensuring that the child is listening first before the instructions are given or the requests are made is also encouraged. We are in a world of noise. We talk about it being noisey for adults – especially online, it is noisey for kids too. They may not be on social media yet (maybe they are) but there is still noise from video games, ipads, TV, radio, battery operated toys and books, other children, animals, the buzz of appliances everywhere, and the noise of a parent simply blends into it all.
I have even resorted to hanging a sign on the front door reminding the children to brush their teeth. This is for me and them. We can all use reminders. For small children the use of a picture chart of the order in which tasks must be completed can be helpful (ie. For putting on winter clothes). Who cares what others who see it will think. It is often a joke actually about how much I must value their dental health, when in reality it is far more simple, I just want them to take the action.
Being present, showing more respect for my children, taking the steps on my end to help them hear the request are all aspects of the EAP approach.
In reality this is a learning process for all of us. For the kids and us grown up kids. We all have trouble hearing and taking action sometimes and need to be reminded. And the next time you feel like you are nagging check your tone, check your words, and remember you are an EAP: encouraging action parent.
Here is another great article on this same topic with even more great suggestions to try. Click HERE
You are amazing. You are enough.
Now say those words to yourself and go embrace your day.