How to Get Your Teenagers to Cooperate Without Nagging

Nagging is often exhausting for a parent and is frustrating for the teen, as suggested by Psychology Today 1. Repeating the requests until the job is done is often so tiresome that the parent completes the task herself. This is because doing so requires less effort on her part. Getting your teenager to cooperate without relentless nagging requires perseverance. Patience and consistency are also key to bringing about the desired change in attitude with your teen.

Sit down with your teen in a family meeting 2. Tell him clearly that his attitude needs to change. Explain that you do not enjoy nagging him. State that as a member of the family, he has responsibilities, just like everyone else. When he disregards what you tell him, it is disrespectful and that you will no longer put up with it without him reaping consequences of his actions.

Write down the task if you feel you may forget that you asked your teen to do a chore or another task. Do this on a bulletin board or a dry erase board somewhere visible in your house. Knowing that his chores are listed daily ensures that the teen won't forget his responsibilities. Busy parents often forget they instructed the teen to do something and this results in the teen scoring a win. His procrastination resulted in an avoidance of the chore, making him determined to wear his parents down in the future to avoid other duties. This builds resentment in the family unit as well.

List consequences of failing to comply with the chore list and stick to it no matter how much your teen whines, bargains or complains. Ask him for his input on the consequences. This gives him a sense of control in the discipline. If an individual knows that he probably will not reap consequences if he doesn’t act responsibly, he is unlikely to do them, according to the Family Education website. It is also important to praise your teen when he does cooperate. This provides positive reinforcement.


The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry suggests that appropriate consequences for a teenager who refuses to cooperate include grounding and loss of privileges. Although your teen may balk at your audacity in taking away his cellphone or mode of transportation, he will soon learn that to enjoy these privileges, he must cooperate.