Too much nagging may be an ineffective way of disciplining kids

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  • An expert pointed out that too much nagging may not be good for children and may only result to negative effects
  • It can damage the parent-children relationship, another expert noted
  • Instead of nagging, experts recommend calm and encouraging ways in disciplining children

Nagging or long, intense “sermon” of parents to their children has been a norm in every Filipino household that it can be traced back to many generations ago.

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However, no matter how normal it is in the Filipino way of parenting, constant nagging may not be good for children, an expert said.

A relationship and parenting expert, Maribel Sison-Dionisio, recently bared in a radio-television program that too much nagging from parents may cause negative effects to their children. Dionisio explained that constant nagging may cause children to feel uncomfortable with their parents. It may lead them to stop sharing stories or opening up to their parents with the fear of being at the receiving end of negative treatment and words.

The expert desclosed that the “you message”, which tends to point everything at the child should be replaced with “I message” which aims to lead a conversation that sounds like you, as the parent, is telling your side of the story.

For example, if your child went home late, you can start by saying how worried you are while waiting and that you did not receive any message from him or her about coming home late. Avoid pointing everything at your child by starting the confrontation with “you didn’t text me that you’re going home late” or “you didn’t realize that I was waiting and worried.”

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Dionisio suggested to start it with: I was waiting for you. I was worried and I didn’t receive any text from you. Did you text me?

The expert said that calling out your children for their mistakes should not be “autocratic” or one-sided. Parents should also make time to explain their side in the situation and avoid going with their children’s emotions. “We have to take turns,” Dionisio advised.

“Let’s change our words. We want to also explain our rage over them without accusing them. It’s important to do away with judging them or nagging at them,” she said. “If we want to get a good response from them, then we have to use the right words that are more positive and encouraging.”

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According to a clinical psychologist Dr. Robert Myers, nagging can damage the parent-child relationship because, obviously, it is negative. “Nagging is a way of finding fault, and it tends to wear people down instead of build them up,” he explained.

He added in a report that when parents nag too much, children decide they can’t do anything right so they might as well stop trying and begin to feel incompetent. Well, we do not want things like that to happen, right?