I’ve recently come to realize that I have a condition, one I didn’t want to admit I have. As the new year has started, I am finally coming to terms with it and I am ready to admit that I am, in fact, “a nag.” The definition of nagging is “constantly harassing someone to do something.” While this seems like an intense way to describe my condition, I know it’s something I do. I believe this comes from being impatient and wanting things done “right now.” I feel that most times I am asking the people in my life to do “simple” things, but I have to ask them multiple times to do it.
So, that’s not my fault, right?
When I nag my kids about doing things, they get irritated. However, they seem to depend on the fact that I am going to constantly remind them of what needs to be done. For example, my typical morning routine is asking my 13-year old daughter a series of questions: Do you have your shoes? Where is your Chromebook? Did you charge it? Did you bring you boots downstairs? As much as I sense the irritability in her voice when she answers me, my anxiety around whether she gets things done is through the roof.
Recently, I decided to switch things up. As my daughter was going about her morning routine, I didn’t say a word. I didn’t ask her multiple times if she did this or that. Even when I knew she hadn’t charged her Chromebook, I still remained silent. I noticed she kept looking at me as she noticed I wasn’t reminding her of something she had missed or forgotten. I also noticed she seemed more frazzled than usual. She was so dependent on me guiding throughout her morning routine that she became overwhelmed. But in true teenage fashion, she wouldn’t admit it. However, the following mornings, I heard her get up earlier to start her day.
I realized then that my nagging had become crippling and that my daughter never had the chance to make decisions because I made them for her. She never felt the consequence of procrastination until that day. It was a lesson that she didn’t learn because of me.