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Rick Lavoie

Tips for Parents - Nagged No More

March 2003

March 2003

Parent Tip

Kids hate being nagged…don’t we all? My colleague and friend, Bob Brooks tells the story of a young boy whom Bob was counseling. The boy was reluctant to take his prescribed daily dose of Ritalin and this was a source of ongoing conflict between him and his Mom.

“Every morning it’s the same routine,” the boy complained loudly. “She starts at breakfast …’Did you take your pill yet?’….’When are you gonna take your pill?’ The nagging is driving me crazy!”

The mother agreed that breakfast had become a ritual of bickering and arguing about the daily dosage.

Bob discussed the matter with the boy and asked him why it bothered him so much when his Mom gave him this daily reminder. “I don’t know,” he began. “It’s the first thing she says to me everyday! I guess it’s her voice that gets me upset.”

“What if she reminded you without speaking? Would that be better?” Bob asked.

The boy felt that this strategy would improve matters considerably.

Bob and the boy took and index card, wrote “Medicine?” on it and taped it to the end of a pencil. Mom agreed to hold the sign up at breakfast everyday and not verbally remind her son. The problem went away.

Sometimes we just need to listen to a kid. The solutions then come quite naturally.

Rick Lavoie