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Demanding and Nagging

Scripture:

Proverbs 27:15–16

“A continual dripping on a rainy day and a quarrelsome spouse are alike; to restrain is to restrain the wind or to grasp oil in one’s right hand”

Prayer:

Adult:

Dear God,

I know I nag way too much. For some reason I think I know it all and know what is best for everyone. Why do I see the worst instead of the best? Why do I always look at what they don’t do instead of what they do well? God, can you help whisper my mind and know you rule the universe not me? Can you help me not sweat the small stuff and not be so impulsive? Can you help me see how the nagging is impacting everyone around me? Can you erase all of my taught behavior? God, I want to do better, but know I can’t do it on my own. Please God cleanse me of this destructive behavior. I love you. Amen.

Child:

Dear God,

Please keep me from speaking when I don’t have something good to say or when I want to be bossy. Please let me see how telling others what to do does not help friendships or help me get along with my family. Love You God, Me.

Activities:

Nagging was like learning the A,B,C’s for me. I can’t remember a time when my parents, grandparents, or other family members didn’t nag. Unfortunately, it is part of my DNA. What is worse is my need to be perfect in the areas that matter the most to me. When others don’t fit the mold is when I automatically want to spit out words of discouragement. I want to tell the person what they should be doing. In the mean-time, the finger never points at me. For some reason, we think nagging will change the person, but all it really does is puts you on two different islands. It is really telling those around you that you care more about what you think then you care about them. It is telling God you run the household. From experience, just like shouting fights it never gets you anywhere. This is one behavior which is almost impossible to change on your own. At some point, old habits will creep in when you are tired or on a bad day when you come home and see the house is a disaster or it is a late night and your child has not gone to bed yet. Of course, the easy advice is to say give each other a break, but we all know this can go in one ear and out the other. The exercises this week are to help you have the behavior be more in your conscious, but if you truly want to beat the habit you need to pray a lot and get God involved.

Adult:

  1. Make your reactions be visible by wearing a rubber band and flicking yourself every time you want to nag someone
  2. Plan a getaway to leave your routine for a minute. Reflect on the routine and your behavior within the routine. At the end of the day, reflect on what you nagged about and ask yourself if all of the nagging was worth it
  3. If you were a child who grew up in a nagging household ask yourself how did this impact you? Do you want your family to think of you the same way?
  4. Why do you think you are nagging so much these days or what is not going well in your life that nagging is an automatic response? What do you think you can you do about it?
  5. If others are nagging you – is there any truth in their nagging? How can you help the situation?
  6. Why do you think others shut down when you’re nagging? How has this effected your relationships?
  7. Record yourself nagging and play it back at a later date. Then journal about it.
  8. What messages are you really trying to say when you nag?

Child:

  1. Tell your child when they want to nag, to try to take a few deep breaths or walk away from the situation. Ask your child how they feel when they are being nagged? Then ask them how they think others feel when they get nagged?
  2. Ask them why they like to nag or feel it is ok to nag?
  3. Practice not responding to your child when they nag. Tell them you will only respond when you can have a healthy discussion.
  4. Role model what it looks like when they nag
  5. Discuss alternatives instead of nagging (ex. have a calendar everyone uses with important events and dates to remember or a note pad to use for important notes)