Expel the Nag

One of the worst offenses my boys committed one winter long ago, was transforming me into a major Nag. Big time. The issue was walking the dog. We each took one walk each day, but I was spending too much of my time reminding, reprimanding and scolding (very loudly) them for not remembering.

Family meeting. A promise to stop yelling up three flights of stairs to remind them. No more lectures about the responsibility of keeping a pet. No more nagging.

In exchange (of course there has to be an ‘in exchange’), each time they were 15 minutes late, they would be given a line on a new chart on the refrigerator. I would give one calm reminder. For each five minutes after, another line would be added. For every 5 lines, they had to take one of my walks.

The lines stacked up slowly at first, but more quickly when I didn’t ‘collect my walks’ and they stopped taking it seriously. Imagine their surprise when, at the end of January, I announced that they would be taking my dog walks for the entire month of very cold and snowy February!

Will readily admit that, after the dog, I was the big winner here. He was most often walked on time and when he wasn’t, I didn’t immediately move into harping mode, but took a few moments and thought about what I could do with a free half hour. One stress activator gone.

What, in the name of good parenting and teaching responsibility, can you pawn off on your kids? Sending them to their rooms doesn’t get the dishwasher emptied!

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