In an ideal world, where pressures and stress don’t exist and, as parents, we have an unlimited supply of energy and determination, consistency could be relatively straightforward.
However, life just isn’t like that and sometimes we are just too tired/too many other things going on or it is simply too hard to be consistent so we sometimes eventually cave in. We may start off by saying “no” but eventually, after being worn down by a nagging teenager it is all too easy to go for the peaceful life… But is it?
As I mentioned at my session with Y7 parents at Heathfield Community School on Monday, the problem with this is that we teach our teenagers that if we initially say “no”, they nag, moan, strop and “go on”, eventually wear us down and we say “yes” and so the cycle continues, we by default are teaching our teenagers that nagging works and this can be exhausting for everyone in the long term.
Harry Barry in his ‘Flagging the Screenager’ book mentions the ‘Nagging Index’. So, if you want to use this to measure how consistent you are with your pre-teens/teenagers, the next time you say no, count the number of times they ask again and again before they finally accept the no or you say yes! The more nagging by your teenager, the higher the likelihood of you being inconsistent.