Reasons you should stop nagging your teen?
Is your teen driving you nuts?
The first thing you must understand about nagging your child is what you know already and that is it doesn’t work!
Not making much progress?
You keep banging your head against a brick wall, you are running around in circles and keep doing the same thing over and over, every day the same thing.
You are in a constant state of frustration and dissatisfaction, you can’t seem to get your point across and they don’t seem to understand or listen to your wisdom, around and around in circles you keep going.
Are your advisory attempts working for you? You know the answer is no!
Making empty threats of punishment or denial of their favourite things doesn’t work either.
Your nagging is an expression of your negative, critical, frustrated and powerlessness – feelings of not being able to make the changes you want within them.
They are not listening to you, they’re not respecting you, and your authority is going out of the window.
Your nagging is your negative emotion and it is having a negative and detrimental effect on your relationship and you just seem to be making it worse as well as pushing them away.
Are you in a constant state of worry and anxiety over them?
You often tell yourself you might as well be talking to the wall.
You are driving them away and you keep pushing and pushing for change, to make them comply or conform to your way of thinking simply because you believe its best for you. Maybe your approach is all wrong.
All this does is lead to stress, anxiety and anger and lots of door slamming and then they storm off leaving you even more concerned or even guilty!
In everyday life children are constantly being bombarded with negative messages from all sorts of authority figures such as parents, teachers and peers receiving both direct and indirect messages of how they should they be and how they should look and be seen to behave.
Children are surrounded by unwanted obstacles, boundaries and borderlines they shouldn’t cross and so is it any wonder when they get a chance to group together and let the hair down they get into trouble for doing what felt right for them!
All this will do is lead to feelings that they are not good enough by anyone’s standard, teachers, their peers and now you!
This adversely affects self-esteem and confidence in the long term!
Most children are in a competitive environment and they are internally battling with all sorts of peer pressure, in sports for example and needing to excel, gain good grades and of course appearances to keep up, popularity and the like to maintain, all leading to a sense of ‘ I am not enough’ . . . .
The home should be the main place of safety and security where positive reinforcement should be gained from you the parent without any confrontation of how they should be.
Many children and teenagers can be like litmus paper and become instantly bored, anxious, withdrawn and depressed and this is connected to their environment both in social settings with their peers and their home environment.
Your nagging is the result of two people and that includes their behaviour and your wish to change their behaviour.
Obviously there are some things which are unacceptable and rules must apply, there also has to be a certain set of compliance and obedience within the family setting, but some of the nagging from parents is a necessity but you may lack understanding and insight into what they’re going through and why they are behaving the way they are.
It may not be a case that they just don’t listen to you, it may be a case that they can’t listen to you, they can’t take on board any more. Do this, do that, don’t do this and don’t do that, if you do this, this will happen and if you don’t do this, that won’t happen and so on.
Both of you become locked in a repetitive pattern going around and around in circles.
There are two people involved in this situation not one, and it will take the two of you to recognise and change this repetitive pattern, however it’ll be you that has to instigate this change by understanding what is taking place in them.
It goes without saying that there are some things your child has to find out themselves the hard way, sometimes they need to fall flat on their face and know what it’s like to trip up and feel pain.
There has to be consequences for actions and some form of punishment around safety and security within their environment which is essential.
Psychology has proven that teenagers need to go through a process where they become themselves which involves developing an identity which is completely separate or appears to be separate from their parents.
The child or teenager must feel a level of value and worth from parents and if you’re nagging them constantly all the time then that much-needed value and worth becomes damaged.
In the back of the child’s mind they need to know their parents are there for them when things get rough.
Teenagers are going through a journey of change and emergence into adulthood and often a parent’s interference causes hindrance problems usually due to the parent thinking they know best.
This conflict and contradiction will lead to further conflicts and a biofeedback circuit develops that feeds itself.
The parent pushes the change in the teenager who then blocks or resists thus generating more of the verbal pushing or nagging from the parent which in turn produces more defiance and objection leading to negative attitudes both ways.
If you suppress the natural flow to control then you will force it to ooze out in other ways which will always be negative energy that will come back up on you.
In the younger years the child is more open and receiving to the parent’s authority. The parent role is one of protection and a greater power which is right at the time when the child is more vulnerable and susceptible to injury or harm and as they grow the parents power and authority should drop back and ease off so that children can develop their own identities which includes power and authority in their own right.
Nagging is sure to do one definite thing and that is too fail miserably because it simply sets up a power struggle between parent and child where both are fighting against each other all the time.
Here is a classic example of something so simple and yet so aggravating.
Mother says to her son “When are you going to tidy up the room, I’ve told you a thousand times? ……. tuts and sighs!
Son responds to mother “ I know, I’ll do it in a bit, don’t keep going on!
Mother responds “I’m not going on, just asking you to do your room”
The son slams the door and storms off!
It may sound unfair to blame the mother but to some extent the parent is causing this every time and it’s achieving nothing except negativity. In fact the ground is fertile with negativity, frustration and anger and vexation, tension and feelings of powerlessness both ways and so on it goes.
The teenager at this stage is growing and developing and the bottom line is he or she does not like being told what to do because they’re no longer a little child.
The parent is telling the teenager what to do and how to do it and when to do it during a period when they’re developing the need for independence, self-control and creating their own authority.
Remember this, when you ask your teenager to do something, unknown to you they may have a developing need to deny or delay cooperation and compliance with you because that need to stand on their own two legs independently without being told what to do is developing right there and then and you are unknowingly clashing with it.
He or she is naturally inclined to go into denial or develop a strop simply because it keeps you, the authority figure on hold or even puts you in your place there and then and leaves you ineffective.
There are many examples like this where you as a parent may say to yourself I am failing as a mother, what am I doing wrong?
You probably are not doing anything wrong, it’s just that you may not be understanding what is taking place. Your teenager is developing control and power on their part and defying you in order to maintain their position.
The way forward for you the parent is to develop insights into your teenagers growing changing and developing personality.
Most teenagers need to be understood, sympathised with and heard.
Let go of your irrational need to keep supervising them, protecting and controlling them. That’s what you have to do because that no longer applies like it did when they were a small child. All you have to do is let it go and stop picking on them.
Try to respect and appreciate your teenager’s new mindset, their identity, their friends, fashion and interests.
Change your commands or orders to some considerate positive request with a surprising reward.
Ask them if they want a surprise meal such as pizza on one condition, “ you sit down with me 15 minutes and talk to me about your feelings and concerns so that I can better understand you and not nag you to do things because it’s getting neither of us anywhere.
Create a plan of action, sit down with a pen and paper and change all your orders and commands to suggestions and invitations and put in where you can offer rewards.
Look at why you are nagging them. And especially look at what it makes you feel when you don’t get the results you expected, then look at those unmet expectations in yourself and that’s the beginning of identifying the problem within yourself.
Try and take a look at how you have become and how your life has changed and how you’re behaving without blaming them as the cause of your frustration or anger.
Your goal is to nurture and protect and to be a wise guiding adviser in their life.
Let go and back off and let them make mistakes so that they can experience the consequences of their stupidity and immaturity on their own. It all helps them make the changes in the direction they are going without them being screamed at to do it. Back off and they will come to you!
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