Some days, well actually most days, I feel like I spend all my time just being a bit of a boring old nag with my two year old daughter. I honestly don’t think there isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t say one of the following:
Sit down, please
Feet off the table, please
This is the last time I’m asking you to brush your teeth/put your coat on/stop jumping on the sofa
Put your socks back on, please
We don’t bang furniture, remember?
Give it to mummy, please (purse/phone/keys)
What’s the matter? (whinge, whinge)
Remember that we draw on the paper, not on the walls/table/ourselves
Put it back, please
Gentle hands (as she grabs her brother in a
Use your little voice
No pushing! (too late, brother just toppled over)
Wow, I’m exhausted just writing it all down! Nag, Nag Nag! At least I say please…
The thing about toddlers is that they’re into everything. They don’t know the rules and it’s up to us as parents to show them how to behave, but it can be exhausting when they seem to do everything they shouldn’t – all day long – and where do you draw the line?
I don’t want to be the mother who nags all the time who can’t just relax and have fun with her kids. Yes, I want to raise her and her brother (toddler in the making) to know what’s right and wrong, but they are still very little, and they’re not being naughty. They’re just being curious, trying to find out how the world works. If anything, I’d like to encourage their curiosity, rather than stifle it by nagging them all the time.
The Nag’s Head: telling our daughter “feet off the table please”. Not the most flattering look
Mummy, please stop nagging!
My new approach
I’m so fed up of hearing my own voice, but also now realise that nagging simply doesn’t work. So, I’ve decided to take a new approach by starting to reframe the way I think, and therefore the way I speak. I think part of the reason we nag is because as parents of little ones, we feel out of control. When our kids don’t do want we want them to do – either for their own safety, public interest or just our own sanity, it can be very frustrating when they don’t understand our reasoning and keep doing what you tell them not to do. I feel like a broken record. The quicker I start viewing this as something that simply comes with the territory of toddlerdom, and realising that whatever I say won’t make the blind bit of difference anyway, the quicker I’ll lighten up. So, I’ve decided to stop nagging and start having a bit more fun.
I’m not a nag ALL the time
You’ll be pleased to know I do try to balance the nagging with having a bit of fun and I generally aim for praise of good behaviour rather than nagging about bad behaviour. And just for the record, that weary photo of Choupie pulling a very weary face was taken in the park last weekend after we’d played hide and seek, football, chase, fed the ducks and thrown sticks into the river pretending they were Stickman. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, they just can’t be pleased.
Instead of being known as a nag, here are a few pics to show how I’d much rather be remembered…
Are you ticklish Choupie?
Mummy, I love you anyway
Bring on the gags!
Are you also a regular down the Nag’s Head? I’d love to hear how you manage your toddler’s ‘testing’ behaviour.