I thought I knew all the parenting tricks. I really did. Then something interesting happened. My teenage daughter said I could nag her. In fact, she insisted I nag her! Now that's a new twist in motherhood I never expected. The same teen who tells me I care too much and that it makes her angry when I praise her asked me to nag her into submission!
You see, she's got a fitness goal. I'm really proud of her for making this goal. She's new to high school sports and wants to make sure she can compete. I tell her she's awesome. She's great! She can compete with the best of them. Her response--the ol' Huff and Puff followed by the ever effective Eye Roll. Sometimes there's even a bit of "You don't know anything, Mom" or "You have to say that. You're my mom."
And yet she comes to me, Roaring Mom, for the Super Nag! YESS!!! All those years of perfectly punctuated lectures have paid off.
Who knew that the perfectly punctuated lecture was the desired parenting procedure, even over the perfectly punctuated praise. I sure didn't. But that's the thing about parenting--we learn more from them than they probably ever learn from us.
So, I eagerly awaited my first nagging opportunity. It didn't take long. It was only later that week, in fact. She'd been sitting in one position, staring at her phone screen so long that muscular atrophy was only minutes away. Here was my chance and I jumped right in!
"You need to work out. Get off that phone. If you wanna earn your spot, you gotta work harder than everyone else. Stop staring at that phone. Don't be so lazy. Get up and get going! Let's go! Let's go! Let's go!"
"Come on! Let's go! You said I could nag you. You think Hope Solo stares at her phone for hours on end? Let's go! Let's go! LET'S GO!!!"
"What? You said I could nag you."
"Yeah, I said you could nag me. I didn't say you could be annoying!"
"Oh. Is there a difference?"
"I guess not with you."
"Well, I'm just gonna keep on being annoying until you get up and go. So deal with it!'
And she got up and go-ed! Yes! Success!
Funny, all the Roaring Mom Praise in the world couldn't motivate her, but the Super Nag did the job splendidly.
Guess you can teach an old Roaring Mom new tricks!