Nagging is a pretty awful word; it is defined as “To annoy by constant scolding, complaining, or urging” or “find fault constantly,” and to be a “constant source of anxiety or annoyance.”
It has also some rather horrible synonyms: continuous, niggling, endless, relentless, never ending, interminable, complaining, critical, sharp tongued and shrewish.
In fact the Urban dictionary where one can make up their own definitions for words has some rather creative definitions of the word. So in short we have established that nagging is a no no; that nagging gets you nowhere and is rather unpleasant.
However do we sometimes realize when we get into ‘nag mode’? Do we sometimes unconsciously slip into behavior that is actually likely to be characterized as nagging?
Often without realizing? So how can we know when we slip into this objectionable behavior which ends up having either no effect or being irritating enough for negative reaction? Look for warning signs:
Do you find yourself repeating yourself, over and over again? As in clean your room, or how many times have I told you to clean your shoes when you come in etc.
If you find that you are having to keep on saying the same thing over and over again, and your child not responding to instructions, then you know that the instruction giving has descended into nagging.
If you have to keep saying the same thing over and over again, then you have to realize that the way you are saying it is wrong and the fact that there is all this repetition is really not helping getting the message across.
Do you also tend to use sarcasm to get across your point; the sort of sarcasm that can be pejorative and negative? This is almost always no help in getting your point across to a child, who will often be hurt or insulted at the adult using this tone or choice of words. So again, this is nagging and not useful.
An adult who is otherwise pressured or stressed can sometimes resort to nagging a child simply out of frustration. So if you have had a particularly hard day and then come home to an untidy home, you may just start on the ‘how many times have I told you routine’… so learn to identify if you are being a nagging parent and try and replace that behavior with more effective behavior.