Thursday, May 2, 2013

Nagging Kids Works

They drive me off the deep end.

We run late for swimming lessons. If we get there after 7pm, and lessons last for a half-hour, and we try to leave by 7:45pm to get the kids into bed at a reasonable time it means they lose their post-lesson play time and they hate losing that time.

For two or three weeks, we’ve tried to remind them about this. “Fooling around and not getting ready quickly for swimming makes us late. You lose your play time!” Action-consequence. But they didn’t seem to get it.

And then at bedtime, my five year-old said, “When I get home from school I want to get into my swim stuff right away. Then we won’t be late and I’ll get all my playtime.”

Score. Our repetitive nagging, our persistence, our dedication to instilling this valuable lesson in our kids might be paying off!

Before you act (wrestling, running around, jumping off bridges) think about what’s going to happen afterwards. Make sure you consider the consequences. If you’re ok with it, then act.

That’s also why we love teaching them to play chess. We want them to not only think about the most immediate consequence of their actions, but the long-term results of their actions. Sure you can get that Sailor Moon tattoo now. But what are you going to think of that in five years?