New Words and Phrases Because of Social Media

new phrases on social media

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The English language has long been known to be one of the most difficult languages to master. In addition, slang and new phrases became commonplace through the generations.

However, with social media, they now catch on much quicker.

Slang terms and new words have become mainstream due to the Internet and specifically through social media.

Think of the ways we talk and post:

We are using nouns as verbs and verbs as nouns.

Our kids are growing up hearing these words as if they’ve always existed. You can probably think of many of these types of words yourself.

New verbs because of Facebook and social media

Think of the new verbs we use in relation to Facebook:

Verbs that were always verbs but now used in the context of Facebook:

  • Tag me in that post.
  • She tagged me.
  • I shared the post.
  • She blocked her.
  • I didn’t Like her post.
  • She was Facebook-stalking me.

We Tweet…. Instagram…. Facebook…

Snapchat it…

We post….

So while you are Facebook Friending people to up your Friends list — you have to keep being popular after all — remember this is all fairly new stuff.

Annoying phrases on social media

There are many things we have to deal with because of social media.

A bunch of us women — in our late 30s to mid-40s who use Facebook and Instagram — had a big discussion around this topic.

It turned into a conversation around the annoying phrases we were seeing on Facebook.

For whatever reason, some of the words and the way our Facebook friends were using them, were really bugging us. (There may or may not have been wine/whine involved.)

We were talking about how and why some of these words and phrases have caught on. Before Facebook, most likely, no one was writing them.

new phrases on social media

While we are all for the informality, speed, and convenience — big reasons we love Facebook — some of them bother us.

Some of these phrases include:

Boo! (aka the sad face equivalent)

Sure, you are trying to express your support and dismay at something. It’s usually something lighthearted. This might be in response to a post something like, “I tried to make this Pinterest-worthy dessert but it failed.”

“Boo!” says a loyal Facebook friend.

“I got off late from work and raced to Target but it was closed when I got there.” BOO chimes your online community.

We all agreed there’s something babyish and whiny about that Boo coming from a grown adult.

We couldn’t pinpoint exactly why it bothered all of us so much but it came down to reminding us of a little girl pouting for her daddy to buy her something.

Yes, we cringe when we see a “boo” on a Facebook post. Please just use the sad face emoji!

Love me some ______.

We were also bothered with the phrase: Love me some _____

It’s not that it’s an improper sentence — it’s just plain annoying.

Instead of saying “Love me some margaritas,” can you simply state: I love margaritas!

We often find this phrase in the context of someone who is showing they already do something or have been somewhere.

Love me some Game of Thrones. Love me some (name-of-new-restaurant-no-one-has-been-to-yet except you).

Please just simply state what you love and be done with it. “I love horseback riding by the ocean” or whatever it is you feel you must post about that you love so much.

Love that kid — Love that girl — Love that boy 

It seems so strange to us to be referring to your own child as a “that” instead of “my.” We do find it very bizarre.

It’s like before your child was born and someone calling your baby an “it.”

We are big fans of writing: “I love him so much,” not: “I love that kid.”

Really, do you walk around saying: I love that kid?

Or do you just think, “I love him” or “I love (your child’s name)”?

Responding with Yep

What is Yep and when did it swoop in to replace Yes?

Half of us at our humble table of six agreed we despise the “Yep” answer. We found it to be flippant and dismissive. It’s as if you are bothering this person with your question, and she’s dismissing you with a Yep. (We covered this already — stop texting about this.)

We see this in Facebook comments as well as in responses to texts.

Is Yep the cool way to be affirmative? Is a simple Yes — also three letters and sharing the Y and E — no longer acceptable? We are on a campaign to bring back Yes.

We get that social media is supposed to be an easy and informal way of communicating, but it still bugs us!

New words on social media

These new phrases and words on social media catch on and then you will see them for months. Sometimes you will see them for years. They spread quickly on Facebook.

Do you love all the new verbs and nouns we have due to social media?

In the 21st century, we have added many new verbs to our vocabularies due to technology and social media: post, like, comment, unfriend, unfollow, friend request someone, and many more.

All of these words expanding our vocabulary… all of this lingo is now part of our vernacular. What do you think of these words and phrases we use on social media?




No Really, I Will Never Weigh this Much Again

doing whole30

That’s it! I’m doing Whole30! My goal is to get back into my size 8 jeans. As a late 40-something mom, I am obsessed with chocolate, despise working out and have hip pain. How do I weigh this much?

I am truly scared to weigh myself. I went out on my birthday in September to get new jeans. After spending months wearing elastic-banded skirts — I live in hot Nevada — I truly had no idea that I could no longer fit into my size 8 and standby size 10 jeans anymore.

I didn’t notice the weight gain at all — elastic is very forgiving. In all the boiling summer months, I only wore expandable waistbands or flowy dresses; I didn’t wear my shorts once!

Buying larger sized jeans

So when I went shopping, I was stunned that I was now fitting/squashing into size 12 jeans.

I bought three pairs, washed and dried them, praying they wouldn’t shrink. Size 12 might not seem like a big deal but it was to me as I’ve never been this size before. It’s scary how the pounds just creep on without us noticing.

Back to my new jeans…. I didn’t cut the tags off one pair in the hopes I would lose weight and return them for a size 10. That never happened.

Here we are in January, and I went shopping again. The jeans I bought in September were cropped, boyfriend type and aren’t practical for the colder days now.

Today I bought three more pairs of jeans, unfortunately, all size 12 again! My goal was to get regular-length jeans but I found an inexpensive pair of culottes — who even knew that word still existed? Then I bought two other pairs that fit really well, as well as size 12 jeans can fit anyway.

Getting a new scale as motivation

I asked for a new scale for Christmas. Last week I put it on the floor in front of my refrigerator. I stood on it one time. I weighed in a 146.6. Now for a 5’3″ person, that isn’t good; however, I expected it to be much worse.

One of my {many} problems is I love chocolate. Often, I graze on it all day, eating it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

I buy bags of it and eat the entire bag while “working” on my computer doing real (paid) work, volunteer work for my kids’ school, or wasting time on Facebook, looking up random things, reading political articles and opinions, returning emails, and spending time online shopping.

It’s so important to have a plan for the day.

I don’t like to exercise

My tennis shoes are old. I don’t have the cute workout clothes. Working out isn’t something I ever did regularly. I’m getting older and more sedentary in general.

And once I moved to Nevada and had all tile floors — easier to deal with the dust and to see the critters — my hips started and continue to pain me. Therefore, I’m not exercising.

But I know I need to exercise. I need to build the muscle I once took for granted. I’m over 40! It’s not going to get any easier. How do I weigh this much!? I know I should exercise but I really don’t feel like it, and I don’t want to get hurt.

Maybe hand weights will help. My husband bought some 15 pound weights which I could barely lift without feeling like I was going to hurt myself. Two days ago I bought two hand weights that are 2 pounds each. Even those surprised me: Think what an extra two pounds does to our bodies.

Unfortunately, I haven’t used them yet.

How do I weigh this much

I haven’t really slept well for 11.5 years — aka exactly how old my oldest child is. I used to be a beautiful sleeper until he was born.

Another real deal problem is I moved from the southeast where I had a very large home. I used my Fitbit and would have 1,500 steps just doing the usual tasks of feeding and dressing my kids and walking them to the bus.

doing Whole30

I’d have 1,500 steps before 8:30am! Just in the course of doing chores and walking up and down the stairs 20x a day, I’d easily have 9,000 – 10,000 steps a day, and more if I did errands.

Then we moved. I spent a month road-tripping and moving across the country and barely walked anywhere. Then I spent two months in a one bedroom rental in a zillion-degree Welcome to Nevada boiling summer so I wasn’t walking or anything.

(Enter tile floors and hip problems too).

{My list of excuses continues….}

Then I moved into a modest 2,200 square foot home — without any stairs! — it’s too hot here to have a second floor — and my steps decreased to about 2,000 steps/day. My little place is small, and I can walk from the kitchen to the living room in four steps, to the bedroom in about 15 steps. Really, to get even those 2,000 steps is an accomplishment!

So basically, couple my age, my hips, my chocolate addiction, my computer/sit-on-my-rear job, my exercise aversion (hips or heat being the excuses) and my small living space, my easy-to-wear elastic skirt-wearing habit, and I have gained 20 pounds since moving to Nevada one and a half years ago.

Packaged foods

Things are sure different. We have convenience foods and drive thru’s and snacking is almost a meal. It’s hard when we are trying to find healthy foods to feed our families.

Now what?

Hang out at this weight so my body forces me to maintain it? Weigh myself now and see I weigh a lot more than the 146.6 pounds I weighed a week ago? (Thinking about how much chocolate — two batches of brownies, container of peanut butter and chocolate ice cream, 12 not-so-fun-sized Almond Joys all come to mind — I ate since then isn’t making me race to the scale.)

Deciding to do Whole30

Really, I must do something. Doing Whole30 will be just as good as doing anything else. I really like there is an end date to it as well. It’s “just” 30 days. Surely I can do it.

I want to be healthy and active. It’s important for me to look in the mirror and be happy with what I see.

I’m going to do Whole30 to prove to myself I can do it and to also see what happens.

I will weigh in tomorrow morning, before drinking water or eating, and see where I’m at. And I will proceed from there. Won’t you join me in doing Whole30?

Update: I did Whole30! Learn more about it:

Starting Whole30

Whole30 daily log

Day 26 of Whole30

Meal planning on Whole 30

Things I learned on Whole30






To Unfriend or to Unfollow, That Is the Question

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We all get sick of seeing certain friends’ Facebook posts. It’s likely they are fine people but their posts annoy us for some reason.

Around the holidays — with all of that subtle showing off — sometimes it’s even worse.

The great news is Facebook makes it easy to keep them as friends without having to see their posts.

You simply Unfollow them so their posts won’t pop up in your Newsfeed.

The best part is they will never know. You will still be Facebook friends.

If you ever want to check in and see their latest and greatest, you can search their name and see their Wall. You will still have access to all of their posts.

You can Like one of their posts to look civil and still know what’s going on.

The best part is you get to decide and control if and when you see this person’s posts.

A big challenge of Facebook is feeling badly after logging on. If you have a person among your Facebook friends who brings you down, using the Unfollow feature is a great way to not have to see his/her posts.

How to Unfollow someone on Facebook

It’s so easy to unfollow someone on Facebook. We highly recommend it to avoid the drama and questions that come after unfriending someone.

Simply type their name in the search bar to find your friend. Go to their wall.

You will see that big Cover Photo across the top of the screen. On the bottom right of that photo, you will see that you are Friends.

To the right of that bar is the area you need to Unfollow someone. It will most likely say “Following” now.

Click on the box. It will say:

  • See First
  • Default
  • Unfollow

Simply click Unfollow and that’s it. Really, it’s so simple.

You will be free at last!

How to temporarily Unfollow someone on Facebook

Facebook has figured it out again for us! In addition to indefinitely unfollowing someone on Facebook, you can temporarily Snooze them. You can set it so their posts won’t populate your Newsfeed for 30 days.

Snooze someone on Facebook

When you see someone in your Newsfeed that you want a break from, click on the three dots on the top right of their post.

When you click on the three dots, you will see the option to Snooze (person’s name) for 30 days.

Click it and you will have a 30 day reprieve.

This is a convenient feature which will temporarily hide them from your feed. Of course, you can continue to Snooze someone on Facebook for as often as you wish.

To Unfriend or Unfollow

Isn’t it great?! You don’t have to unfriend someone on Facebook to spare yourself from seeing them and their posts.

I think of this when I think about some former Facebook friends. I can think of five people who unfriended me on Facebook. (If there are this many I DO know about, how many more are there I DON’T know about?)

unfollow on Facebook
To unfriend or unfollow?

I find this business of unfriending very interesting. Sure, I’ve unfriended people. However, it was for very specific reasons. And I’m sure the people would know very well why I did it.

Yet, the ones that did it to me, I have to admit, I really do not know. I moved away from a state in which two of the people unfriended me. Would that be a reason to unfriend someone?

I’ll admit, it always comes as a shock. What did I do?

Being a good Facebook citizen

I’m not competitive and always do my best to Like people’s posts. I’m truly happy for people’s good fortune. In addition, I say Happy Birthday. I encourage and support those who need it. Also, I don’t Post or Comment about controversial subjects. I don’t over-post. Really, I don’t write Cliffhanger posts. I’m not a lingerer who Comments incessantly.

Who wouldn’t want to be FB friends with me? I’m a great Facebook friend! (Can you tell I’m modest too?)

Maintaining Facebook friendships

I mean, come on. It’s not like it’s difficult to maintain a Facebook friendship. It’s virtual for goodness sake! Actually, “friendship” is probably too strong of a word. It’s more like a Facebook relationship.

It’s not like in real life we will encounter each other often, or ever in most cases. We won’t have to endure small talk over lunch or even a phone call. We won’t ever email. Never will we text. There won’t even be a private message via Facebook. (Really, how many conveniences can we enjoy these days?)

So what’s this unfriending business about?

I use Facebook like I do life; I’m aware of the social ins and outs. So really, it truly comes as a surprise when one of my Facebook friends actually unfriends me.

Why wouldn’t someone just Unfollow me?

Annoying Facebook friends

Sure, I have some Facebook friends who annoy me for whatever reason.

A few coming to mind are the braggers, some who swear, the political posters, a few people who seem to need some sort of constant acknowledgement and recognition, and a few who post every single thing they do.

Unfollowing on Facebook

In these instances, I just “Unfollow” them. Done. No one is any the wiser.

At the end of the day, we are still Facebook friends. No harm done.

These Facebook friends will no longer show up in my Newsfeed but we are still friends. After unfollowing them, in order to see one of their posts, I have to actively type in their name and go to their page.

Unfollowing someone is great. I LOVE this Facebook tool. Try it, and you too will no longer be reminded of these people or annoyed/bothered seeing these people’s posts and lives.

If you want to look them up now and then, you can. Sometimes I’ll do this and even shoot them a Like. See? No one ever has to know I unfollowed them. It’s practically the same as unfriending but without the drama and controversy.

With unfollowing, you aren’t making a statement.

By Unfriending instead of Unfollowing, you save them from wondering, “Why did she/he Unfriend me?” It’s actually being really nice.

So why wouldn’t someone just Unfollow? Why do people Unfriend?

Unfriending on Facebook

There could be all sorts of reasons. This person could be a toxic or (for real) dangerous person whom you never want to associate with. It certainly makes sense to cut all ties. (You may want to block someone in these types of situations.)

It also makes sense if you are no longer dating that person. Understandably, both of you want to move on.

There are situations in which you may have a Facebook friend in common with someone you want to stay away from. While you can set your Privacy Settings high, it still make make sense to Unfriend a common person.

I’ve cut off someone for that reason. “Mary” was my only tie to “Jane,” someone I wasn’t Facebook friends with.

However, I wanted to stay as far away from Jane as I possibly could, so unfriending Mary cut off all possible ties to Jane. I didn’t want Jane showing up as a Facebook Friend Suggestion. I didn’t want her to be able to see anything that Mary may have Liked on my Wall.

So I just eliminated the middleman…. I gave Mary the ax. Possibly I could have sent a farewell message to give Mary a heads-up I was cutting her loose. But I didn’t because I barely knew her anyway (it was my husband’s relative) and had zero relationship with her except for the times she Liked my Posts.

However, to explain why I was going to be Unfriending her required I explain my disdain for Jane, and frankly, I didn’t want to give Jane the satisfaction.

So sometimes there are very easy reasons to Unfriend. But other times, it is sort of just out there. Baffling even. A mystery.

Keeping the peace by Unfollowing instead of Unfriending on Facebook

It is sort of a passive-aggressive thing to do. If you have a problem with someone, why don’t you tell him/her? You can take the bold move to Unfriend someone but you can’t say “Hey, Taylor, what you did was not cool, and now I’m mad at you.”

It does sound childish and awkward, and it’s easiest to take the path of least resistance. But if you ever had any sort of decent relationship with them, it just seems like pressing “Unfollow” is the better choice.

Maybe people Unfriend because it just doesn’t matter. It’s all la-la-Facebookland and who cares because I really won’t ever see this person again.

Or maybe it’s to create a sort of power trip…. Maybe you do see this person but this person has Unfriended you and you are left to wonder what that was about. It’s becomes a social power play or mind game.

We all have Facebook friends who annoy us. They brag in their posts. Their lives look too perfect. They are posting about their busy social lives and how popular they are going out every weekend and tagging everyone.

We’re often stressed out and barely keeping it together. It’s not fun to log on Facebook and be slammed with all of these posts that are either annoying or that drag us down. No one wants to feel left out or that we aren’t doing X Y and Z for our families.

Who do you Unfollow on Facebook?

Most of the people I’ve unfollowed is because I’m just sick of seeing them showing off. 

I don’t want to see their every move. I don’t want to see how much they all hang out together while I’m sitting home alone left to see it.  

These are the Facebook friends who post every outing for coffee, breakfast, dinner, a margarita, and anything they do, tagging everyone in attendance.

Rather than continue to be annoyed, I can easily Unfollow them. No harm done.

Unfriending or Unfollowing

When you are trying to decide between unfriending and unfollowing, it’s typically fairly simple to decide.

Usually, there’s no need to make the bold statement of unfriending someone. Simply go about your business and Unfollow those people you are tired of seeing post on Facebook.


Get that video game console out of your kid’s bedroom

video game console out of bedroom

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You want your kids to play electronics less often? Don’t put video game consoles in their bedrooms. And while you’re at it, remove the TV from their bedrooms too.

They won’t like it but everyone will be better for it.

As kids get older, they are becoming more independent.

They are spending more time online and rarely play with toys.

This is more the reason for you to keep the video game console in the living room or other common area.

Kids need parents less

When kids become tweens and teens, parents don’t hear about their days like we used to. We don’t know everything that went on with their friends. Most likely, we don’t even know all their friends.

When our kids were younger, the days went by slowly. But now? Their childhood is slipping away.

They are more independent and busy with school and extracurricular activities.

Don’t isolate them further by encouraging them to be in their bedrooms any more than necessary.

Video game console out of the bedroom

Parents complain about their kids spending hours a day on electronics.

However, many of these same parents have equipped their children’s bedrooms with gaming consoles, TVs, and computer screens.

Advantages to having video games in child’s bedroom

Children will tell you there are lots of great reasons to put a gaming console in their bedrooms.

Kids can:

  • Play video games more often
  • Be out of sight
  • Stay on games longer
  • Not have to share or take turns with siblings
  • Do things parents won’t know about
  • Get up in the middle of the night to play online
  • Hang out with their friends without you seeing what’s going on

Is this what parents are hoping to accomplish?

All of these so-called advantages are really only (somewhat) advantageous for the kids.

For parents, the only real advantage is convenience.

  • Parents don’t have to see it or hear it.
  • Don’t have to worry about younger siblings.
  • Parents can hang out in the common area and watch their own TV shows, etc.
  • You can get your living room “back.”

Sure, sometimes Grandma or parents are looking for a big gift for birthday or holiday gift for your kids.

A TV in the bedroom seems like a wonderful birthday or Christmas gift because “that’s all he wants” and what else are you supposed to get a tween or teen boy?

Setting up a screen or a gaming area in their bedrooms is not the answer!

Kids spending too much time online

Even in families who have the Xbox, PlayStation or Nintendo Switch out in the common area — living room or basement — nationwide, kids play too much.

video game console out of bedroom

When it’s in their Very Own Rooms, it’s too easy for them to be on even more frequently.

So what’s the solution?

Don’t buy a TV and video game console for your child’s bedroom.

If he/she already has one in the bedroom, remove it.

Explain it’s not a punishment.

Advantages to having video games in common area

Everyone learns valuable lessons from keeping video game consoles in the common area.

The kids learn:

  • To get along
  • About sharing
  • How to take turns
  • Negotiating

Parents learn:

  • What’s going on with your kids
    • What they are saying
    • Who they are playing with
    • What are they watching and playing
  • How much time children are online

Overall, your kids will be online less when the video games are in the common area.

Because of this, they will have more time to pursue extra curricular activities, school work, reading, exercise and play.

They can learn to be bored and how to figure out what to do.

You will have more family time.

Behavior, sleep, and many other things improve the less time kids spend in front of electronics.

Remember, your kids won’t be living in your house forever. Maximize the time with them while you can.

Sure, you will be inconvenienced having to see and hear the video games but that’s part of our job as parents. Like changing diapers, it won’t be forever!

Friends over playing video games

Sometimes having a play date is a pain. Especially when the kids play video games in the living room, and you live in a small space — everyone is around.

It’s okay; it’s just temporary.

Everyone else has video games in their rooms, says your teen.

Yes, they are correct. Most likely, most of their friends can play video games in their bedrooms.

Take a look online, and you will see Pinterest boards dedicated to video game bedrooms. There are stores with pages of ideas for setting up a video game space in kids’ bedrooms.

Parents have different views on their kids and electronics.

Some think it’s okay to have gaming consoles in their kids’ rooms but are strict they won’t let their kids have a phone.

You may hear other moms talking about video games in their kids bedrooms so it makes it seem normal and okay.

We have all become desensitized to it.

Younger siblings

Often, when there are younger siblings in the home, it’s tempting to allow the older siblings to have electronics in their bedrooms.

Kids grow up fast

The years are short.

Don’t isolate your tweens and teens further by having them retreat to their rooms because it’s convenient.

Think of them being in school all day, possibly playing sports and having other extracurricular activities, and doing homework. Much of the other time they spend online.

A goal for parents during our kids’ tween and teen years to keep engaging them. It’s okay for our kids to be bored. It’s okay for them to not have access to technology whenever they want to.

Having family rules — whatever makes sense for your family — is important for owning a game console.

Perhaps it’s one hour of electronics on school nights, and on weekends and school breaks, it’s 2-3 hours a day.

Easy access to technology at home

In our social circle, it’s common for families with more than one boy to give them each a gaming console in their own rooms.

No one has to wait their turn

Yet, having to take turns and figure out a schedule — to negotiate — is the better way to go. Each child will spend less time online if they have to take turns playing Fortnite or Rainbow 6 Siege with their friends.

Waking up early to play

When we stick to our “no electronics until 10am” rule on the weekends, my kids sleep in.

Often they tell me they woke up around 7am or so and went back to bed. On days we don’t limit access to electronics, they get up early to play on their iPads.

Playing in the middle of the night

Naturally, having gaming consoles and devices in the bedrooms entices kids. Whatever your rules, these kids now have unlimited access at night.

You think they are sleeping — and you are sleeping — and you have no idea that they are on at 3am. It’s just too easy for them to access.

Know what’s going on

Even when the child keeps his bedroom door open, and you have complete access, it’s still much more private than when it’s in the open area.

Set rules for electronics

Updated media tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics offer practical suggestions for our kids in the digital age.

They acknowledge kids will be online and that it’s okay for teenagers to have online relationships.

They do recommend creating tech-free zones as well as keeping kids’ bedrooms screen free.

Screen free bedroom

Keep kids’ electronics out of the bedroom.

If this isn’t possible, set a rule that all electronic devices remain in the kitchen at night (after 9pm or whenever).

You can take the TV remove, the video game controls, etc.

Be sure to mute the devices. You can also set controls to Silence Notifications for whichever hours you choose. Example, set it to silencing from 9pm – 7am, even on school breaks.

There are ways to get your kids off electronics, especially over summer breaks and days off from school. Among the best ways are keeping bedrooms electronic-free zones.

If you want your kids to remain kids longer — and if you want to limit their time on electronics — and if you want to know what’s going on — you need to get that video game console out of their bedrooms.






Just for Today, I Will Not Nag My Child

stop nagging

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All I do is nag my child.  I do not want to be this kind of mom. My time with my child is precious. And it’s limited, especially during the school year when he is gone for hours, then comes home to activities, homework, and sometimes, chores.

My few opportunities to have “quality moments” with my tween are rushed. It starts in the morning when I open his blinds and nudge him awake, sometimes losing patience.

Then, I’m hurrying him to make and/or eat his breakfast. Not 10-15 minutes later, I’m rushing him to get dressed, brush his teeth and fill his water bottle.

I’m likely mad he didn’t start making his lunch the night before.

While I’m not meaning to, I am nagging him about waking up earlier, or I’m stressing out and telling him to make his lunch the night before.

It’s too late for this wisdom — there’s nothing he can do about it now, right in this moment — but I can’t stop myself from saying all of these negative things.

stop nagging

Sometimes I’m rushing him to put everything in his backpack.

I’m want him to remember to include his homework, and possibly his band instrument and PE uniform, and anything else he needs.

Typically, I’m not even giving him time to remember any of these things on his own. My comments are reflexive.

Even as they are coming out of my mouth, I can’t stop myself from saying them.

And these are on days that I drive him to school. Everything gets even more harried on days he has to be ready 40 minutes earlier to take the bus to school.

And yes, of course he should go to bed earlier and wake up earlier. More on that later when I end my day with more nagging.

Well-meaning parents nag

Parents know this feeling.

We want our kids to be prepared for their school day.

We want them to eat and drink, go to the bathroom, brush their teeth, and go to school clean and prepared.

All of this “reminding” is to help them be successful. It’s for them, not us. Still, it’s so negative.

When did this change happen? When did I stop letting my kid be a kid? How did it happen that most all of my interactions with my child involve me correcting him, nagging him, or reminding him to do something?

Remember when our kids were babies, toddlers and preschoolers? Even when they were in their early elementary school years, I never nagged and complained at them.

Everything they did deserved praise and encouragement. I was offering positive reinforcement… always.

When and why did I stop?

Being a nag throughout the day

Try as I might not to do it, my nagging continues when I see my child again, after school.

Sometimes I pick up my middle schooler from school and sometimes he takes the bus. Either way, after a few lackluster, dead-end answers to my questions about his day, I start in with the stress.

What homework do you have? What is due tomorrow? Do you have any tests or quizzes to study for? Remember, you have soccer practice at 7pm.

It goes on and on.

Middle school-aged students already have so much going on with their changing bodies and brains. It’s a challenging time in their lives with new routines and increased responsibilities in school. They are dealing with new social dynamics and social stresses.

Why can’t I be a little bit more lenient and gentle with him now?

Stressed out kids

Kids have so many opportunities today. This brings on several challenges.

It’s our culture and society to be busy and to over-schedule ourselves and our kids.

And it’s not wrong to want to keep kids engaged in activities for exercise and/or learning. Especially in this age of electronics and how online pursuits can get out of control quickly, this is more important that ever.

We know that part of the reason we nag is because there simply isn’t always enough time to do everything we need to do.

But when did we go from thinking everything our child did was wonderful to becoming a nag?

Even when it was really hard, I was positive in front of and to my kids.

Ways to stop nagging

As the years go faster with my kids, I know I need to make a change.

I am going to try to stop lecturing and nagging my kids so much. I need them to start learning to deal with the consequences and take responsibility for their own time and decisions.

Maybe I can start with one or two gentle reminders.

Even better, I am going to sit down with my son and explain how I don’t like how I’m always nagging him.

I will explain how I’m going to let go a bit more.

I’ll let him know I will make mistakes and will probably still nag, often. However, I’ll be working on it.

In the meantime, I’m going to give him ownership of his situation.

I will talk with him about his chunks of time — before school, after school, and before bed – and what he needs to get done. I’ll ask him what he thinks he needs to get done before offering my opinions.

Realistically, I know I can’t (and won’t) back off completely. But I can lessen the reins.

I’m imagining he will rise to the occasion, at least some of the time.

He will at least start to learn to rely on himself — and not me — to control his time and the outcome… his destiny.

This destiny being that perhaps he is late for school one day. Or maybe his destiny will be that he didn’t finish his homework and has to wake up early the next morning to finish it.

Of course I want to remind him about personal hygiene and getting good grades. I want to make sure he eats healthy foods and gets enough sleep. This is where it gets challenging — because all of these things are really for his own good.

That’s what makes it really difficult to not nag your kids.

Nagging at night

When I cringe the most is when I’m nagging at my son to go to bed. It crushes me when he’s reading a book, and I am getting angry that he’s up late.

Most likely, I’m telling him to brush and floss his teeth without even asking him or checking his toothbrush to see if he already has.

We’ve barely spent any time together all day. And now to end the day and our time together, I’m usually negative. I’m usually tired and stressed out myself.

I don’t want to come off as mean, especially to my son, who I love more than anything.

But I do.

And the irony is I want so much for him to be rested enough to have a good day tomorrow, that I’m being negative with him at that moment.

Ways to not be a nag

So, the goals: Be more patient. Discuss expectations. Be there when he falls but help him back up. Be kinder and gentler. Take 5 seconds before speaking to really think about what I want to say. Say more positive reinforcing things.

I can pick my battles, allowing myself only one or two nags per day. (How fun it will be to prioritize my most important nags!)

The great news is I have lots of room for improvement. Just like I want to be kinder to my kids, I will learn to ease up on myself as well. Things usually work out, no matter how much or little I intervene.

Here’s to less nagging!

Have you learned to curb your nagging? Please leave your tips in the Comments.




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