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Parenting Coach

Practical ideas for social, emotional and behavioral challenges

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End nagging with “Asked and answered.”

What you can do

Help your child learn how to accept no as an answer and to stop nagging or arguing. Establish a clear way of signaling the end of a discussion. After you use that signal, refuse to engage in any further discussion. Remove yourself from the room if necessary.

What you can say

“Sofia, I’ve noticed that when I make a decision you’re not happy about, you continue to nag or question my decision. You seem to think that doing this will make me change my mind. On some issues, I might be willing to discuss your disappointment to a certain extent. But there will be a point when the discussion must end because my decision is final.”

“From now on, when you reach that point, I’ll simply say, ‘Asked and answered.’ If we happen to be in the kitchen, I’ll point to this card I’m putting on the bulletin board that states: ‘Asked and answered.’ When I do either of these things, that’s your cue that our discussion is over. If you continue to nag after that, I’m not going to respond. I’ll walk away.”

“Let me give you an example of how this will work. Let’s pretend you want to see one movie and your brother wants to see another. I flip a coin and your brother wins. I say my decision is final.”

“You begin to nag me about why you’d rather see your movie. I respond by saying, ‘Asked and answered.’ I also point to the ‘Asked and answered’ card to remind you that the discussion is really over.”

Why this will help

Nagging isn’t just irritating to parents. It’s irritating to classmates, teachers, coaches and other adults. You can help your child break the habit by consistently responding to nagging in a way that makes clear your decision is final and the discussion is truly over.

Over time, this system will help your child stop nagging. Curbing this behavior is very important. Less nagging will make her more appealing to classmates.

23Found this helpful
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