My parenting resolution for February was to Avoid Nagging. I have talked about this topic before when I was working on the Positive Discipline tool One Word. I still use this tool when I remember or think it is appropriate and still find it to be an effective way to communicate needs, reminders, and rules when the child already knows what is expected and is capable of doing it.
In addition to using just one word to state my requests, I tried just not saying or even doing anything at all as one way to avoid nagging. I know that doesn't sound like very good parenting advice, but it was actually pretty effective in certain situations. Dinner time is the perfect example. My daughter does her homework at the dining room table while I cook dinner each night. When she is finished with her homework, she often plays with her little brother while I finish up dinner. When dinner is almost ready I start nagging my daughter to put her homework away, clear the table, set the table etc. This is not a pleasant experience for anyone in the house. I annoy myself! One day I decided not to say anything. I just finished up dinner, got out the plates and silver wear for setting the table and set them on the edge of the table and called everyone to come and eat. As soon as my daughter got to the table she said, "Oops, I forgot to put my homework away." She quickly cleaned it up while i got drinks for everyone. When she got back she set the table quickly and we all sat down and ate. I was thinking I would give this strategy a try and if it didn't work I would put the issue on the Family Meeting agenda. Turns out the issue was all mine. I wanted the homework cleaned up as soon as she was finished working on it. She wanted a break after school and homework. I had already expressed the need for the table to be cleared and set for dinner many times, as well as taken the time for training her how to do the job. When we got ready to eat and there was a mess at the table she didn't think twice about what needed to be done. She also didn't need me insulting her intelligence or humiliating her in front of everyone else by nagging her about it.
I did catch my self nagging in a few other situations, and just being mindful of it made it easy to stop myself and seek a better solution. All in all I would say this resolution was a success and another one that I hope to continue as we move on into the next month. For March my parenting resolution will be Forgive and Forget!