Tips from a Teacher: Nipping Nagging and Dealing With A Know-It-All

Tips from a Teacher: Alamo City Moms Blog

I was over at a friends house a few weeks ago and her 4 year old wanted a snack. I’m pretty good at repressing the “teacher urge” when I’m with my friends and their kids – I try REALLY hard not to give “teacher looks” or use “teacher voice” but sometimes it just slips out. Especially when we’re having a fabulous conversation that is suffering from a nagging 4 year old! I suddenly remembered a tactic I’d learned really early on in teaching – “Asked and Answered”. I’m fairly certain I learned it as a “Capturing Kid’s Hearts” or “Love and Logic” seminar, and I’ve since seen it on several parenting and teaching websites, but just know that it’s not my original idea but it’s life (or classroom) changing!

Nipping Nagging

Here’s how it works:

1. Child asks for something and you say no – giving an explanation of why. (On a side note, it’s wise to say no with a reason – because eventually your “no” becomes trusted not just temperamental or random.)

2. Child asks again – hoping that you’ll change your mind.

3. You say, “Have you already asked me _____”? (Kiddo should reply yes!)

4. You say, “I’ve given my answer. My answer is no.”

5. Kiddo asks again… You calmly say, “You’ve asked and I’ve answered.”

6. Repeat – you reduce the sentence to simply “Asked and answered.”

With children about 3-5 you may have to repeat 3 and 4 several times but for older children, within a reasonable time frame, saying “asked and answered” should suffice. As you become more consistent and your child understands the key words you’re saying, the nagging and whining will become less and less.

It’s also important to be on the same page as your spouse, parenting partner and any other prominent adults in your child’s life.

Dealing With A Know-It-All

There comes a time, almost always in the 12-15 age range, when your bright, actualized progeny suddenly becomes a know it all. Conversations about things turn from fact sharing to fact checking and “I KNOW” or “I already KNEW that” seems to dominate the vocal landscape.

What is a parent to do? How, other than helping explain empathy and hurt feelings, can a parent equip a know-it-all to deal with all this information people are bound to share but THAT THEY ALREADY KNOW?

You can provide a tool to use – a strategy – for when that overwhelming urge to say “I KNOW!” surfaces.

Suggest trying:
You’re so right!

Thank you for sharing that.

Or when it’s a command/direction/reminder, use:

Thanks for the reminder, I remember/ appreciate it.

It takes a lot of practice and a lot of modeling – you may find yourself changing your behavior at play group or in the work place as a result of coaching your know-it-all at home! But success will come with consistency, patience and time. And remember, you’re not in it alone:

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