Am I turning into a bit of a nag?

Am I turning into a bit of a nag?

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

Climb down

Put it back, please

Gentle hands (as she grabs her brother in a cuddle headlock)

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…

Quote: fancy cracking a smile love?

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.


Sit down please

The Nag’s Head: telling our daughter “feet off the table please”. Not the most flattering look


The nagee

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 also believe toddlers learn better through humour and distraction, so I’ve created Topfivemum’s five ways to turn a nag into a gag.

turn a nag into a gag


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?


Flying saucers


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. 


My Petit Canard
Pink Pear Bear
One Messy Mama
The Pramshed
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
Diary of an imperfect mum
Hot Pink Wellingtons


  1. January 31, 2017 / 16:41

    Oh I nag my four year old on a daily basis!! These are great tips. I’ll try to remember them in my moments of insanity! #sharingthebloglove
    Jaki recently posted…Living With Someone With DepressionMy Profile

    • topfivemum
      February 6, 2017 / 00:34

      we’re all living in moments of insanity. I think it’s part of the motherhood package

    • topfivemum
      February 6, 2017 / 00:34

      thanks Sinead. Hopefully she’ll remember that rather than my nagging!

  2. January 29, 2017 / 17:32

    Some days I feel like I have woken to a testing toddler that’s going to test me all day! These are great suggestions for things to say instead to our little monkeys. #sharingthebloglove

    • topfivemum
      February 6, 2017 / 00:35

      Thanks Helena

  3. January 28, 2017 / 22:41

    I sometimes feel like a bit of a nag but I do try to say things like ‘that’s not for you’ rather than just NO! The thing is my son, even though he’s 11 months, is an absolute monkey and just smiles at me and continues!! #SharingTheBlogLove

    • topfivemum
      February 6, 2017 / 00:35

      I know what you mean Louise – like butter wouldn’t melt eh!?

  4. January 27, 2017 / 18:41

    Love this! What a great way to “discipline” your toddler, it’s almost like when I’m at work and have to tell my manager something she doesn’t want to hear hahah. Love the photos as well, beautiful! Thanks for sharing with #stayclassymama!

    • topfivemum
      February 6, 2017 / 00:36

      I’m not sure which is harder – the toddler or the manager! LOL

  5. January 27, 2017 / 16:52

    My daughter is almost 11 and my “nags” have evolved. Thank you for this post, because I forget some days that I can switch this around to keep myself a little sane. absolutely enjoy the photos! #Sharingthebloglove

    • topfivemum
      February 6, 2017 / 00:37

      it certainly keeps me on my toes and makes me stop and think for a moment. Not always though!

    • topfivemum
      February 6, 2017 / 00:37

      they do like to test us Alana! Thanks for your lovely comments

  6. January 26, 2017 / 21:48

    Ah such lovely photos at the end. I feel this. I’m at home with mine and some days or afternoons feel so long with endless nagging. Then I just try to tickle her and dance about and laugh and I feel so much better! Great post xx #SharingtheBlogLove

    • topfivemum
      February 6, 2017 / 00:38

      tickling is definitely the way forward! Distraction works a treat xx

    • topfivemum
      February 6, 2017 / 00:38

      Glad to know I’m normal LOL

  7. January 26, 2017 / 14:50

    Lovely post. I try and strike a balance between the nagging and the gagging but suspect I lean more towards the nagging! It’s a work in progress.

    • topfivemum
      February 6, 2017 / 00:38

      it’s always a work in progress!

  8. January 26, 2017 / 10:37

    So true on all the levels! I love your ways of making things fun rather than nagging. The crab on the sand is genius! I would never have thought about that. I am a huge nag and I hate it too. I honest couldn’t count the amount of times in a day I use the phrase ‘I am sick of repeating myself! SIT DOWN!!’ Not the best approach I admit but after so many times I completely loose my sh…stuff. Good luck with making everything more fun Xx

    • topfivemum
      February 6, 2017 / 00:39

      I’m definitely more nags than gags Kirsty. But it keeps me sane now and then and is my equivalent of counting to 10!

  9. January 26, 2017 / 08:59

    I missed this post last week. Love your outlook and the suggestions for reframing things. I’ll keep this in mind! I try to do this by saying ‘that’s not for babies/esting/whatever’ instead of saying ‘no’, but your suggestions are far more creative! #StayClassyMama

    • topfivemum
      February 6, 2017 / 00:40

      that’s fantastic Lucy. I say things like that too and it’s amazing how my toddler now repeats what I say. Like when I have a biscuit with my coffee. She says that’s mummy’s biscuit. I honestly never thought it would be possible without having to give her one too. Stick with it as it does work!

  10. January 24, 2017 / 23:48

    The lovely things about toddlers is….it doesn’t end when they grow out of their toddler years lol. I will have to give this a try, I am so tired of yelling. .#StayClassyMama

    • topfivemum
      February 6, 2017 / 00:41

      I guess as they get older they just get louder… I’ll have to get more creative LOL

  11. January 23, 2017 / 23:05

    This is my life right now. Holly is two and I am constantly nagging at her, she is such a little pickle. I long for the days where we are through this stage and she understands so much more. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove x
    Laura – Dear Bear and Beany recently posted…Living Arrows 04/52 {2017}My Profile

    • topfivemum
      February 6, 2017 / 00:41

      at this age it’s like they go out of their way to get into the things they shouldn’t. I’m hoping it’ll get easier too!

  12. January 23, 2017 / 14:00

    I sometimes feel my life with my two year old is an endless nagging session! He’s definitely understanding more boundaries these days though, so I do feel we’re heading towards a better place, but I’d love to get through a day without a nag passing my lips. I love your way of turning things around – must try and remember this next time I feel a nag come to my lips. Your photos at the end are absolutely gorgeous! Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

    • topfivemum
      February 6, 2017 / 00:42

      I’ve noticed the same as the months go by Katy. I hear the next stage is all about negotiation… I’ve already started to see signs of this (one more biscuit mummy? Just a little little one?!) LOL

  13. January 22, 2017 / 09:45

    Great post! I know exactly what you mean – sometimes when I hear myself I cringe! #ablogginggoodtime
    Crummy Mummy recently posted…#MySundayPhotoMy Profile

    • topfivemum
      February 6, 2017 / 00:43

      I know what you mean. Even I don’t want to listen to me, so no wonder my daughter doesn’t!

  14. January 21, 2017 / 10:49

    I have posted on a very similar theme this week! It’s so frustrating to be battling against the person you love all day. I like your gag vs nag approach. And considering toddlers never seem to take any notice of being told off, I am sure your daughter only remembers those lovely fun times from the pictures, not the nags. #StayClassyMama

    • topfivemum
      February 6, 2017 / 00:43

      we can live in hope eh?!

  15. January 21, 2017 / 01:22

    There’s some great ideas for turning the words round. I wonder if they’ll work with my 6 year old. #sharingthebloglove

    • topfivemum
      February 6, 2017 / 00:44

      it’s worth a try Emma! Let me know how you get on

  16. January 20, 2017 / 15:37

    It is easy to feel like a nag but I am sure you do use positive methods more than you think. A reminder is always good though. I know I have been a bit of a nag this week as I have been full of cold and that makes my patience wear thin! Be kind to yourself xx Thanks for linking with #ablogginggoodtime

    • topfivemum
      February 6, 2017 / 00:44

      I’m definitely more patient after a decent night’s sleep! Hope you’re feeling better Catie

  17. January 20, 2017 / 01:39

    I’ve been feeling like a bit of a nag this week. Sometimes it’s so hard to step back and think about what words should come out your mouth. A great reminder! Thank you for sharing. #globalblogging

  18. January 20, 2017 / 01:39

    I’ve been feeling like a bit of a nag this week. Sometimes it’s so hard to step back and think about what words should come out your mouth. A great reminder! Thank you for sharing. #globalblogging

  19. January 19, 2017 / 21:53

    I love this!! I’m so glad you distinguished between them being naughty and just being curious, too. My little boy is almost 14 months so he’s into everything but doesn’t understand a lot, so I also feel I’m always repeating things. I like your ideas for changing it up a little. Love all the pics too! #ablogginggoodtime
    Ellen recently posted…A note for our virtual memory box: #3My Profile

  20. January 19, 2017 / 21:04

    I’m always nagging, then I’m always following it up with “Oh my God I sound like my mother!” #ablogginggoodtime

  21. January 19, 2017 / 17:09

    I relate so much to this, it’s like we’re living the same life. I get fed up of my own voice some days. I love your solutions they are perfect. I’ve also tried to alter the way I interact with my daughter. It works, sometimes. Great post. #sharingthebloglove
    Tara recently posted…Have we lost the ability to stop in a busy world?My Profile

  22. January 19, 2017 / 02:32

    oh they are clever ideas aren’t they. Great post and I love the happy pics they ares per cute. I will have to take this on board and stop nagging so much #Globalblogging
    Mackenzie Glanville recently posted…Helpful tips for declutteringMy Profile

  23. January 18, 2017 / 16:28

    Aaah, I’m totally feeling this at the moment!! In fact, just this morning I was thinking that all I do is say ‘stop, no, can we just, what are you doing, why are you doing that?’ And thinking that my children must think all I do is correct them and say no to absolutely everything!! I really like your ideas for distraction without nagging-I’ll have to start putting them into place-although it’ll be really hard to break old habits!! You’re right, it can be incredibly frustrating when your children aren’t behaving how we want them to, and to balance constantly nagging at them to be something socially acceptable, without ruining their curiosity.
    This Mum’s Life recently posted…Mums Are Always RightMy Profile

  24. January 17, 2017 / 18:04

    Grat Idea! Turn Nag into a GAG. Must remember that. My little one is 5 and I still say all those things… #globalblogging

  25. January 16, 2017 / 17:23

    Great tips, I often feel like a nag with my son – it’s so hard when they are toddlers they just ignore EVERYTHING you say!! I might try some of these out. #GlobalBlogging

  26. January 16, 2017 / 17:01

    Lovely post! I find that I seem to be nagging my son so much more now that he is 4 as I know he knows the rules. But he is sometimes determined to push the boundaries with a cheeky smile and a glint in his eye! It drives me nuts but at the same time I can’t help laughing at him! #marvmondays
    Cherry – The Newby Tribe recently posted…First Horse Riding Session : A BreakthroughMy Profile

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