We all want the best for our kids. We want them to grow up being the best people they can be. We also want them to be contributing members of society, even if “society” at this point in their lives means “our house.”
Kids are kids and don’t always get the bigger picture. Not that you should expect them to, of course, but sometimes it would be great to speak to them in a reasonable voice, explaining how life works, and have them respond proactively. Seeing as that is only a dream, there are a few things that you can do to motivate them to contribute without resorting to nagging.
1. Create a chore list. Their expectations are in front of them, in black and white. They have to complete the chores if they want to be paid CASH MONEY (allowance), and so they take ownership of the list.
2. Spend time talking to them. They do not have the years of experience and maturity that you do, so they need some guidance to understand what’s expected. Often if you explain the why, they follow with the do.
3. Create consequences. “First time listening” is something we employ. I don’t want to nag and they don’t want to hear me nag. Listen to me the first time, and we can all move on.
4. Listen to them. Our expectations may not be something they understand, or are capable of. Listen to their concerns and figure out how to make the situation work for the both of you.
5. Check yourself. It’s easy to get into nagging mode. Instead, put yourself in your kids’ shoes at their age. What do they understand about what’s expected? How can you talk to them at their level without nagging?
We can all get so busy and stressed that it can be easier to nag than to communicate at a different level. What do you do to get out of the habit of nagging and make it more of a motivating conversation?
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