Why nagging doesn’t work

“Bla, bla, bla” – Our oldest son said this to my wife when he was a pre-teen.

She’d been going on and on about something — and he said “all I hear you saying is “bla, bla, bla”.

We laugh in retrospect. It is quite funny.

She just wanted him to do what he was told!

Was that too much to ask?

It’s so frustrating!

But we all know nagging doesn’t work.

Nor does yelling, swearing, or screaming — but we need something that does work.

We need something that actually changes behaviour.

We need something that keeps us, and our kids, feeling ok.

We need something that gets rid of the frustration and creates change.


BESIDE is part of our BRIGHT Boundaries framework — one of our parenting tools.

It’s actually really simple.

You see — women are great at being face-to-face. But, in this post, you’ll see why that doesn’t work for boys. Boys connect side-by-side.

Confronting to connect might work for your daughters a little – but not if you’re nagging – because everyone disengages from a nag.

Once the nag is over and you feel better about yourself – the place to get change is BESIDE.

BESIDE is where parenting happens, it’s the place where sorry’s are said, where you discuss what went wrong, where you get to hear their big feelings.

BESIDE is where you review the rules and reset clear boundaries.

We all long for someone to be BESIDE us.

We all wish we had more friends we could be open and honest with — it’s the same with our kids.

Being BESIDE doesn’t mean, no timeouts — in fact, getting BESIDE is the single best way to bring a timeout to an end.

Also, being BESIDE does not mean being weak — it’s easy to nag, to get in their face, being BESIDE is hard!

To be BESIDE you have to be willing to calm down and make the time. You have to find the energy to re-connect.

Men are great at getting beside — if you have a man in the house, delegate the job to him, but don’t miss the opportunity to say sorry yourself!

Children need to feel your strength — and the strongest thing you can do is get BESIDE.