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September 21, 2018 at 12:11 pm · · 0 comments

You are training your children to ignore you.

September 21, 2018

 “Don’t eat junk food…. go to the gym…. don’t sleep all day…. clean your room….” As an obese teenager my mother nags at me all the time, usually about my weight or sedentary lifestyle. The problem is I am already used to tuning her out whenever she starts talking about gym or food. Why wouldn’t I? With adulthood I do understand that it is for my best, however it only makes me realize more of my faults and shortcomings than providing any real motivation to go to the gym or eating healthy.

Almost every household has a mother nagging at her son or daughter to drink their milk, do the homework or to keep things at their proper place. Fairly common right? What you don’t know is how dangerous this nagging can be over extended periods of time. So I wanted to look deeper into this interaction.

While doing research for this article I came across many articles that tried to explain why women nag, most of them said that women nag because ‘to get their way’ or ‘to hurt someone’. Some even tried to explain that nagging is a woman’s response when she is threatened or when they feel insecure. That however is not true I discovered.

Well you might be wondering why your wife nags so much or why your mother nags so much or maybe you might even be a woman wondering why people say that you nag or why do people tune you out.

The answer is rather simple: Women are more inclined to be concerned and worried for other people. They are more concerned for other people and relate to them easily.

“The message here is that, with female relatives, it can be a two-sided thing, they may be the people you most depend on, but also the people who nag you the most. It’s a testament to their deeper engagement in social ties.” Said Claude Fischer from UC Berkeley and Bar-Ilan University in Israel in a press release.

With all my research the following things became obvious.

Nagging only makes your child feel incompetent

To save your children from getting hurt and learning from your experiences parents coerce, scold, complain and nag. Parenting is a difficult job and sometimes these are the only options left. Many a times parents feel like their teenager is not ready to face the real world and they feel a loss of control when the said teens start taking their own decisions. But the fact is nagging teens, telling them what to do, constantly giving them instructions, or checking back on their jobs makes them feel incompetent and unloved, which is that last thing you wanted them to feel. So it is important to distance yourself and respect your teenager.

Nagging at teens makes them feel like the you’re just trying to get your way

Nobody like to be told what to do over and over again. It is toxic to the relationship between you and your child. According to Dr. Robery Myers, a psychologist who has been treating parent child relationships for 25 years, says that “the more you nag, the less they hear,” which is why when you try to have a meaningful conversation they don’t want to hear it. “Nagging at teens makes them feel manipulated” he says. Teens want to experience independence and backfire when parents try to force decisions on them. Instead we should accept it  as a process of them growing up and give them space.

Nagging makes your child want to ignore you

Nagging teaches your kids to stop listening. When parents point out what the child is not doing instead of noticing what he is doing, which is inherently a negative conversation. Dr Myers warns us that “Nagging is a way of finding fault, and it tends to wear people down instead of build them up.” Children might think that they can’t do anything or even worse stop trying. Nagging conveys our lack of confidence in them to go about their life. It trains them to tune us out because they assume we are going to say the same thing or criticise them.

Teens feel alienated when parents try to control them

Parents nag their teens largely because they are scared of losing control, and to ensure that their children are safe. Many a mothers are worried that their child might be with wrong influence, skipping class, failing exams or doing illegal activities. “When parents nit-pick their teenagers over little things, it just makes the children feel alienated. They may argue, they may ‘yes’ their parents, but whatever the outcome, they feel disrespected, they feel put down and they become antagonistic.” Says Mike Nicole, author of “Stop Arguing with Your Kids”

It is natural for someone to want to defend oneself when someone critics them. It makes them feel like they are by themselves.

Nagging is a short term victory      

Maybe your parents nagged, and you fell into the same habits, after all there is hardly a comprehensive guide on raising children perfectly. It is a learning process. What works for someone else might not work for you. Everyone has a unique child. Well maybe you even get a thrill out of it, be proud admit it. Many moms nag because they are anxious and worried about their own future. They don’t want their children to make the same mistakes they did. Nagging may work in the short term because your child may have no choice but to comply, however, it does not make you child independent and responsible. That takes time, and an commitment to change habits.

Nagging makes your child makes him secretive

 Whenever you berate your child for something they did, they become more secretive and scared of you and reparations of their shortcomings. Constantly picking and pointing out flaws in children makes them loose trust in themselves, experience loss of confidence and low self-esteem. Many children stop sharing their lives, try to hide their mistakes and make sure they are never caught. Such children are more likely to develop anxiety in their later years.

Categories: Life tips



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