It comes down to basic communication and setting expectations.
– Brian Waters
Nagging is something every parent is guilty of. What is more difficult is to find ways to not nag, to create an environment where your teen can grow and clearly understand what the expectations are. The first tip in not nagging your teen is to set clear expectations. But how do you do that? It begins with a conversation, to share with your teen what the expectations are around a specific topic.
Let’s take chores for example. I could easily start nagging about the messy bedroom and clothes on the floor. However, I realized how much that bothered me, and that it did not bother my daughter so much. Hmm, if it is not her priority, what should I do? Well, I have to have “buy in” to make her realize the importance of a clean room. The picking up of the room and keeping it tidy became an easier goal for our teen daughters once they realized that I do not do their laundry and who wants to wear a shirt that has been on the floor all week, is wrinkled and smells like the dirty socks that were on top of it. By focusing on what was important to my daughter, I could explain the reasoning why having their bedroom picked up was necessary. It was a conversation, where we both explained our ideas and came to an understanding. In the end the clothes on the floor were far fewer and the nagging of “pick up your room” stopped.
Another way to stop nagging is to have a conversation on what your teen is responsible for. Rather than tossing out varying chores or tasks that are constantly changing, create a list that’s solely their responsibility. Knowing that every day, week or month, they’re responsible for taking out the garbage, feeding the pets, or mowing the lawn, it will help them create a routine and alleviate a whole lot of nagging. By creating a schedule/routine that you and your teen have agreed upon will help to make sure that the chores or tasks that they are responsible for are getting done.
After all, no one likes to be told to do something in the moment of chaos, and being in crisis mode. It is much better to be proactive and to plan out and control your time. This also helps your teen to develop the skill of time management. Another opportunity to help your teen to transition to being a young adult and developing more responsibility for themselves.
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