Nagging kids so they would listen to our orders may seem one of the most common approaches for parents.
It's easy for parents to fall into the habit of yelling and nagging. However, as you may know, nagging is also stressful and exhausting to do. The heated arguments seem like a never-ending cycle that leaves both you and your kids irritated.
Nagging or yelling may be one of the most effective strategies for you, but there are other ways to try so the kids won't just follow you out of fear. If you find yourself nagging and barking out orders more than usual, maybe it's time to change the approach.
Here are five empowering and practical steps you can try.
1. Use positive phrases and language
Some parents suggest that using a positive phrase more than a negative phrase is more effective when instructing kids.
Just like us, when someone says "don't run", our minds might be tempted to run. Avoid using the word "No" and "Don't". Try focusing your words on the desired action. Use direct words that you want your kids to do.
This is because better language can result in better compliance. So instead of saying, "don't shout", you may want to paraphrase it and change it to "Only talking, please," or from "don't throw your toys anywhere", you may want to say "Please clean up your toys after using".
2. Connect with your child before instructing themIt pays to connect with your kids using proper eye contact, body language, and a better tone. It might be hard for them to understand the weight of your instruction if you were shouting at a distance. They might just turn a deaf ear.
If they don't follow you after nagging them so many times, chances are they don't want to do it.
A tap on the back, a slight touch, establishing a connection, and making eye contact as you state your instruction or request can be more effective ways for them to listen. Sometimes you have to get down to their level to win. Plus, the fact that these are good manners and we're modeling it to them which will later pay off.
3. Change the tone of your voice
You've probably heard the saying that "It's not what you say, but how you say it" that matters. If we're going to put ourselves in our kid's shoes, we won't want to be yelled at and nagged at.
No matter what our position is as a parent if we want to have a better relationship, sometimes we have to make a few adjustments.
There are times that we have to adjust the volume and the tone of our voice depending on the situation.
4. Make instructions clear and simple
Not all kids can understand too many instructions and directions at once. If you ask them to do something after repeating it several times and still not listening, they probably don't understand.
The culprit may be your lengthy instruction. Long sentences may not work, so why not try short, simple, and clear instructions instead.
Kids might just forget the first sentences and may just only remember the last part or it can be another way around. Staggering your sentences for kids to fully comprehend will create better results.
And again, be patient and ask them to repeat your instruction or request to see if they understand. You may also try to give your kid choices if it doesn't work.
5. Show, don't just tellWe learn not by words alone but by watching people — this is the same with kids too, they learn through modeling. And as a parent, it's our responsibility to show them what we instruct.
Probably. through that, cooperation will be much easier. And there will be less resistance.
Love + miracles,