This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Seem to be nagging DS (10) all the time...(9 Posts)
... and it’s not good for our relationship.
DS1 (10) has a whole bunch of habits that I keeping having / choosing to nag it remind him about, and it’s starting to colour our whole relationship. The trouble is I don’t know which, if any, I can just let go and which I should be coming down on- and what’s the best way to tackle the important ones.
As a list he:
Is gaining weight, as he’s eating too much of the wrong things and doesn’t do enough exercise. I have patiently and gently explained about needing to watch what he eats, make sensible food choices, provide healthy options for him etc. He nods - then asks continuously for sugary food so I have to say no continuously.
Bites his nails really badly, to the point that they hurt and he just looks awful with his hands stuffed in his mouth all the time.
Slouches really badly: he has inherited DHs family shape of rounded shoulders and head poking forward. DMIL is the same and now seriously hunched to the point that she can’t straighten up, DSIL is going the same way, DH has developed breathing issues as his diaphragm is permanently squashed... I really don’t want DS to go the same way! So I’m constantly telling him to stand up straight.
Is obsessed with gaming / PS4 and nags to do it all the time at the expense of active play and Homework
So which of these can I let go? And how can I stop being such a nag / saying no all the time? While still trying to set reasonable boundaries?
he’s eating too much of the wrong things as the parent of a ten year old, it's your job to ensure the foods available are healthy.
Don't buy anything processed. Keep plenty of fruit in the house and some unsalted, mixed nuts. Greek yogurt, plain can be eaten in small portions with honey or fruit or both.
Nail biting sounds like he might be anxious.
I would change the food available in the house as a start and get some of that horrible tasting nail paint. The telling him to stand up straight is fine....has to be done. Do it in a funny way though, rather than nagging.
Gaming....tell him he has a certain amount of time a day on it and then remove it afterwards. No budging.
Food - you're the adult, and you buy the food. He can't eat it if you don't buy it. If he keeps asking for it, just keep saying No. That's not nagging - he's the one nagging for it, you are the one refusing it.
Nail biting - tough habit to break and I think this one, unsightly as it, you might have to let go. You can nag him about it till the cows come home but there's little you can actually do.
Slouching - yes, that's a seriously detrimental habit from what you say about the rest of the family.
Gaming - agree a set time and stick to it. Then there's no nagging.
I got some Stop & Grow nail biting deterrent for DS1 which seems to have worked.
Does he have any sports interests that you could encourage, or do together? 'Bet' him a reasonable amount of money he can't do C25K? Get him to walk/cycle to school? Might also help with the slouching.
Is your ds a bit depressed? Nail biting, comfort eating, slouching, retreating to video games.
Rather than nagging him, I’d try to fill his day, build up his confidence and get him involved in things you can do together.
My ds is 10 and this summer holiday he is making supper one evening a week, and getting extra pocket money for doing it. I’m also trying to take him swimming, cycling on the common, to a play date or playing some kind of game with him every day. Monopoly, UNO, crib for rainy days, orienteering for fine weekend days.
On computers, decide a set amount a day, an hour each morning and evening perhaps and use an alarm clock so you don’t forget.
It isn’t easy, my dc would eat his own body weight in biscuits if I let him.
See if DH is up for having some input on the slouching (from his own experience will have more clout) and/or for doing something active with him regularly.
Then try to shift your position to a more positive one with him - show non-judgemental positive regard, listen lots, praise up wherever you get the chance, and develop more lighthearted communications. In other words, build positive self esteem which will help with all the other things. (Tbh family genetics may influence posture more than behaviour? Idk)
One thing you can get for gaming or any technology in general is a lockable kitchen safe. It's a large plastic see through box with a timed locking lid. You can put things like game pads, phones, Ipads, remotes and wires in there and it won't open till the time is up. They are pricey but are a godsend! It stops kids nagging because they know the safe won't open till the time is up, you can't even open the safe if you wanted to!
I think I'd stop nagging about all of them tbh.
Food - I wouldn't have unhealthy food available to him. Occasional treats if you must but have lots of healthy snacks on hand. I'd also introuce a rule that he can only ask for something once and has to accept your answer. It's a good lesson in respecting other people's answers/boundaries.
Rather than nagging about the slouching, I'd try to find a hobby/class that will improve his posture (eg dance, martial arts). For his nails, you can use Stop and Grow or just accept that just now he bites his nails and he'll grow out of it when he's ready.
As for the PS, you need a routine and you need to stick to it. In our house, DS can only go on the PS one school night and only after all homework is completed. Again, we have the no nagging rule. If he keeps asking, the answer is definitely 'no'.
Do it in a funny way though, rather than nagging. This in spades. "Is your back showing me a curve today?" rather than "don't slouch".
I was that child who was always nagged, although sometimes I deserved it. My mum discovered that one way to get through to me about important matters was to get other more detached family members to give me advice, such as aunts, uncles, grandparents, since I refused to hear it from her, and there was less emotional stigma if somebody else said it.
Slouching - one way to deal with it could be to positively point out people who are walking tall and with confidence, especially if it's someone he admires. There's also this poem:
Johnny used to find content
In always standing rather bent
Like an inverted letter J.
His angry relatives would say,
"Stand up! Don't slouch! You've got a spine!
Stand like a lamp post, not a vine!"
One day, they heard a dreadful crack.
He'd stood up straight - it broke his back!
(The lesson there being long-term damage.)
Be careful about phrasing a "no nagging" rule - I remember craftily saying to my mum "but you're always nagging me!". Calling it "no asking again" might help.