Children can be enthusiastic about everything. But when they ask for something and you deny it to them, they can become insistent. They can keep nagging until you give in and get them what they want. Children can also nag when they feel restless and bored. Sometimes indulging them doesn’t help because they find something new to nag about.
They can always find something to beg even when you tell them to stop. The problem with pestering is when it becomes a habit, the children grow into entitled adults. Unfortunately, children can pick irreverent times to trap you into a cycle of negotiation. Sometimes, they can do it to ensure they get what they want because they know you’re in a hurry.
How to handle nagging
1. Avoid giving in
It’s unlikely that you will always find a chance to say no. However, children are quick studies. They will notice that you’re more likely to accept what they want if they corner you in public or when you’re about to leave for work. Constantly agreeing reinforces their belief that you will agree when cornered. Try to say no more often. When they start nagging, say no and let them learn that no isn’t an opportunity to try and change your mind.
2. Don’t yell
Parents occasionally yell when they’re frustrated. However, avoid snapping because your child is nagging. Getting upset frequently also shows them that you can easily get riled up. They can weaponise this by guilt tripping or crying. If you also allow your temper to get the best of you, it can cause you to say things you will later regret. Try to stay calm and walk away from the situation if you feel your temper rising.
The Psychological Impact Of Yelling At Your Child
3. Ignore attention-seeking behaviour
When you say no, your children can throw tantrums, break stuff, or throw things. When they start doing this, find a way to ignore it while still ensuring they don’t hurt themselves. If the child is older, get them to clean up the mess they made before they go do their next activity, like playtime. Tantrums are a stage that eventually passes but acting out when they don’t get their way is a habit that can manifest in different ways when they get older. If your child yells, don’t yell back. You can tell them that you will only address them when they speak respectfully.
4. Warn them
Children deserve one warning when they misbehave. Sometimes they don’t understand that pestering is unacceptable behaviour. If they repeat it, give them a warning telling them that if they nag, they will face a consequence. This is especially useful if they’re asking for something they’re not supposed to. For example, you can tell them that if they keep yelling for what they want, they won’t get the gift you promised them.
5. Issue consequences
When children misbehave, they have to understand that their actions have consequences. Issuing repeated warnings may not be effective. Until children face consequences for their bad behaviour, they won’t change. Take away a privilege, or use a logical consequence.
Parenting: The Danger Of Making Empty Threats To Children
6. Teach your child how to manage frustration
The reason children nag is because they want to avoid frustration or sadness. Depending on the reason they are nagging, you can teach your children how to behave better and self-regulate. If your kid is nagging because they want your attention, teach them that if they wait until you’re free, they can get all the attention they need. You can also give your kids play items so that they can pretend to work near you. Children who pester by asking many questions want a different kind of attention. Instead of telling them to be quiet, you can tell them to ask better questions.
Parenting: How To Teach Children Anger Management
You can also teach them to colour if they’re upset or sit alone until the feelings subside. You can also show them that crying is ok. They can also write in a journal or mould plasticine.
Parenting: Tips To Avoid Raising A Narcissistic Child
7. Teach your child gratitude
Instead of having an attitude where they constantly ask for things, teach your kids to be grateful for what they already have. Teach them the difference between needs and wants. For example, teach them that food is a need but treats are a want. And treats are for special occasions.
Spare The Rod And Spoil The Child – Alternatives To Physical Discipline
Parenting: Key Behaviour To Model For Children
Parenting: Why It’s Okay To Let Your Kids Quit Things
10 Tips On How To Be A More Intentional Parent
Parenting: Tips To Help Children Lie Less And Tell The Truth More
Opinion: Children Are Not Manipulative, Stop Calling Them That
A Beginner’s Guide To Gentle Parenting