Friday, March 5, 2010

To Nudge? Or Not to Nudge?

At what point do you stop "nudging" your children? Or, do you ever stop?

I have an almost 17-year old son...this son has had to be "nudged", or "pushed", pretty much his entire life. Any new situation - any new adventure - he has had to be nudged...whether its the first day of school, riding a roller coaster, or trying out for a baseball team. In most every case, after he's been nudged, he's had a fantastic time. He just needs that initial "push" - that reassurance that it will be okay - that little boost of self-confidence that he sorely lacks.

Earlier this week, he didn't get nudged, and consequently, made a monumental decision that will definitely have far-reaching repercussions.... He was at his dad's for the weekend when this occurred, and when I questioned his dad on why he didn't "nudge" our son into making the RIGHT decision, his dad said, "He's almost 17 years old - he's an adult. I'm not nudging him anymore. It's his life."

And hence, the question of the what point do you stop nudging your children?

I believe in nudging - no matter how old you are. I nudge my spouse; he nudges me back; and it's all good. I don't mind being pushed sometimes - it has helped me grow as a person. And I most certainly believe that my children should be nudged - or pushed - if they still live under my roof. Heck, I nudge the adult kids who no longer live with us - but I cleverly disguise the nudging as suggestions....You know, as in, "Honey, have you ever thought about doing THIS?" And I think the nudging has helped them....

So, I'm just curious as to what other parents out there think...To nudge? Or not to nudge?

That is the question...




lacochran said...

Maybe he's so used to being nudged he doesn't think of these things himself? I don't know, I'm just thinking of the flip-side.

Dual Mom said...

You could be writing about my almost 18 year old son. It's a great question. I personally think we have an obligation to nudge and yes even push our kids, no matter how old they are.

I think it's situational too though. For instance, I won't nudge my almost 18 year old anymore to put his laundry out. If he doesn't...he can go without clean laundry. I do nudge him to get his school work done.

Jenny said...

This is a hard question for me to answer.

I have two schools of thought...

But I have some strange circumstances with my kids.

I wanted to just say HI and now I'm not even answering your question.

Ellen said...

Still nudging my children ages 44, 42 and 38. I also try to disguise it! I think they know me so well though. Love your blog.