The art of the nag

The one thing I have always been conscious of since becoming a wife and mother, is the element of the nag.  It is always my intention that the first gentle reminder should suffice.  That when the reminder is for THAT said person’s benefit rather than my own, there would be sufficient sense of urgency on their part that I wouldn’t have to repeat said reminder – ad nauseum to the point where I risk making myself sick by sounding like a broken record.

Unfortunately I have experienced more than my fair share of bouts of nausea related to nagging. And I hate it.

Especially as a parent;  where is the motivation, the sense of urgency, the plan??  Am I just too accommodating, doing too much for the kids, should I let them go off and drop the ball so they come to their own senses?  It’s a catch 22;  we want them to succeed, we hope that they challenge and take things on themselves to get ahead in life.  Why isn’t the internal urge to act, to put things in motion, ingrained in the boy by now?  I’m continually chasing down, making arrangements, reminding him to get his act together, to get this plan of his going without me having to check up on him all the time?

When I was his age, my parents had no clue what I was taking in school, how much money I was making through my part-time work teaching piano, what I was having for lunch.  I had my own spending money, I made my own way around places with my friends, I brought home good grades and gave my parents no headaches.

Don’t get me wrong, my son has great character, is a sweetheart, kind human being who is generous with his spirit and good humor.  He’s a good boy – just seems he’s a lot of talk and only doing things for me, rather than for himself.  Where is his inner drive?

I ask myself whether my expectations are too high, but I’m pretty sure they’re not.  Get good grades, study, get some extracurricular activities in particular his Lifeguarding plans, under his belt, so he can get experience and make some money for himself. He only has to help me take the garbage out once a week – that is it for home. He has yet to complete half of his volunteer hours which could have easily been completed the last couple of years before his course load got tougher.  I pay for his phone.

There is freedom to make his own plans during the week, and go out with friends on weekends.  He tells me when he has tests and assignments and as far as I can see he is studying and doing homework.  I know that he is still developing and growing up, I just struggle with how best to help him without doing everything for him.  He is more than capable of doing this – I can even cite that his friends seem able to do things beyond just school.

It’s all rather frustrating.

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