Moms know how tense and intense it can become…getting our little ones or not so little ones to adhere to the routines we’ve established or are attempting to establish.
It can rightly be a daunting task.
Ideally, we moms, would like everything to go smoothly.
Does it happen that way?
I used to be one such mom.
I’d use threats, angry body language and lots of mommitude (mom-attitude) to get my kids to follow my routines.
Nagging used to be the Saturday morning norm that my kids most likely anticipated.
I’d threaten to throw out the toys that were strewn all over the house, I’d make angry expressions that displayed my displeasure at their messy spaces and disorganization.
The outcome would be clear as day; wild tantrums coupled with an equally nag worthy adult response. It was a circular situation with no end in sight!
I realized nagging my kids was upsetting them and me.
We weren’t establishing good habits, we were establishing bad ones.
Something had to be done. As the saying goes, “You can catch more [bees] with honey than vinegar.”
Meaning that if you’re nice, polite and are genuine, then you’ll be more liked and get better results. It works like a charm with kids too!
Here’s exactly how you too can get your kids to follow their routines without nagging.
Incentivize Good Behavior
When your child follows a routine, what do you do?
Do you just say good job or are you more intentional about how you reward them?
It makes sense to reward kids who’ve followed the system you’ve put in place. This way, they understand you value their commitment and they in turn establish staunch stick-to-it-ness for future routines.
For example, if they’ve followed their routine all week, then consider rewarding them with ice cream or a desired activity.
Ultimately, you’re teaching your kids the value of hard work, consistency and loyalty. Traits that will surely benefit them in the future!
This informative article shares that, “Rewards are about making new habits.
Done right, reward systems work by enticing your child to adapt their behavior until the new behavior becomes normal. Over time, they’ll begin to experience the natural benefits of that behavior—and wean themselves off the rewards.”
Shows of Admiration
Make it a point to vocally announce your pride when your kids have made you proud.
It’s important to say, “Jess, I see you’ve been working hard all week. I’m so proud of you.”
When you spotlight their good habits, instead of berating the bad habits, they naturally make the shift to being established routine followers. Adults and children alike yearn for recognition. It feels nice to be mentioned and doted upon.
Sometimes it’s easy to focus on the end result as opposed to expended effort.
Make it a point to edify your children’s efforts and show them your support. As Cynthia Crossley of Habyts deduced , “Reward the effort, not the achievement itself. Progress, not perfection.”
Don’t focus on perfection with your kids. It’s an unattainable goal.
Instead recognize how hard they’ve worked to gain the results that undoubtably make them grow and get good at following their schedules.
Implement Positive Self Talk
Self talk refers to your internal discourse. It can be positive or negative.
Implementing a self talk routine gives parents and children the unique opportunity to speak an external dialogue that eventually influences the subconscious to craft thoughts, ideas and beliefs to mimic a desired outcome.
Tim Legg, MD makes these valid points, “Self-talk is important in many ways. It’s the script that we use to frame our lives.
If we constantly give ourselves negative messages, then we begin to develop automatic thoughts that take us from a particular incident to a negative emotional reaction. Conversely, if we engage in positive self-talk, we begin to view the world in a more positive manner and will ultimately feel better about ourselves.
We can’t always control what happens, but we can control how we react to it!”
Let’s start with you, the parent. Why do you need self talk as an adult? Not only will it improve your life, it can also be formulated to see the best in your kids.
This article on Healthline chronicles that, “Your thoughts are the source of your emotions and mood. The conversations you have with yourself can be destructive or beneficial. They influence how you feel about yourself and how you respond to events in your life.”
Write your children’s self talk with them in the present tense.
For instance, “I make my bed everyday,” “I’m on time to my activities,” “I am confident, bold and I follow directions well.”
Self talk is best executed with the corresponding action.
Flip the Script on The “No”
Think of how often you utter the word “no” to your kids. When they’re not following directions and you’re becoming peeved, what’s your response?
Do you rebuke their behavior harshly?
I’m not suggesting that you don’t discipline your kids, but be aware of the situation and outcome your words present.
Words aren’t empty vessels. They come with context, body language, emotions and tone, so every time you communicate with your children these components are always thrown into the mix.
It’s shocking, but Red Book Magazine says this, “The average toddler hears the word “no” an astonishing 400 times a day, according to experts.
That’s not only tiresome for you, but it can also be harmful to your child.”
If parents could get a trophy for the most spoken word, hands down it would be the word no.
Instead of “No, don’t throw things at me!!” Try saying, “I see you’re frustrated and upset and I get it. Mommy gets upset too. It’s not ok to hit others because hitting hurts. Let’s use our words to show how we feel from now on.”
Parents want to be respected and listened to and children just want to be heard.
It’s as simple as that! You both can be validated within reason without the angry frustrated nos.
Make Following Routines FUN!
We were all once children, right? Did we enjoy completing tasks and responsibilities?
No, not at all!
Right now, it’s all about conscious, positive parenting! Getting your kids to do what needs to be done can be designed to be fun. Of course, establishing fun for a 5 year old differs from establishing fun for a teenager drastically.
For younger kids, you can certainly go on an adventure to discover toys littered at home instead of calling it clean up time.
You can sail the seas or introduce a change of scenery that gets homework and bath time accomplished.
For teenagers, a bit of fun and friendly competition goes a long way.
Earning money to complete chores and tasks can be a way of them having fun and you teaching them indirectly to be fiscally responsible kids. My 12 year old makes his bed, washes the dishes, vacuums and cleans the car. All because he gets $20 a week and lots of praise!
There’s no limit on how creative you can get.
How do you get your kids to follow their routines without nagging? Share in comments section!