How to Stop a child from whining
Winning The Whining War
Do say, ďMadison, that is whining. Whining doesnít work with me. What works with me is to ask in a normal voice, with normal tone and normal volume. If you do that, sometimes you get what you want. Sometimes you donít. But itís your only hope.Ē
By Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller
Jason Meridithís two-year old son whines when he wants more juice. Brenda Kreugerís eight-year old daughter whines about having to take piano lessons. Connie Gustufsonís daughter whines about not getting enough playing time on the softball team. Each parent finds the whining annoying, but is unsure what to do about it. In each case, the parent and the child could be helped by the following guidelines. |
Do expect your child to whine. It is age appropriate at two, three, eight, thirteen, nineteen and every other age in between. Children will whine. Count on it.
Donít say, ďStop whining.Ē That doesnít work. Children do not like being ordered around under normal circumstances. When they are whining, they like it even less. One thing worse than a whiner is a whiner that engages you in a power struggle.
Donít be surprised if you are tested. Your child will check you out to see if you meant what you just said. Show them that you do.
Donít cave. You may be tested more than once. Once your child realizes that whining doesnít work, he will drop the behavior. A child who fights, fights because that behavior works for him. A child who runs away from fights, runs away because that works for him. A child who gives excuses, does so because that behavior works for him. Show your child that whining doesnít work with you.
Do announce the living room, kitchen, your bedroom, and the car are whine free zones. Put up whine free signs if necessary.
Do allow your child to whine. Provide a whining area. Her bedroom will work well for this purpose. With a legitimate whining area, your child can continue to whine if she chooses and you donít have to hear it.
Donít whine to your spouse about your whining your child. You are always modeling. Your child learned whining behavior somewhere. Could it have been from you?
Do use a whine fine for older children. Assess each whiner $1.00 per whine. Keep it in a whine jar or whine bottle. Treat yourself to dinner out or a massage when the whine toll allows.
Do allow children to whine in a whining journal. Inform them that you will listen to all whining if it is written down.
Do praise your child when she asks in a normal voice, with a normal tone and normal volume.
Donít take children to stores, malls or relatives homes beyond their normal bedtime. You are asking for whining. Whining, both theirs and yours, increases with tiredness.
Do use preventative communication before you enter whine zones. Have a talk in the car before you enter the grocery store. Explain the purpose of the trip. Set the ground rules. Make your expectations clear before you enter the whine zone and you will experience less whining after you get in there.
Do inform your child that you are having trouble hearing when she whines. Tell her she is hard to understand when she chooses that tone. Tell her whining hurts your ears and they close down for whine protection.
Do make a copy of this article and carry it around with you. This will help you stay conscious that whining is a behavior you have made a commitment to eliminate.
Donít get discouraged. Whining is learned behavior. Learned behavior can be unlearned and with consistent use of these strategies, your child will learn new behaviors to replace it.
Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller are on a mission to empower parents, teachers, and care-givers so they can in turn empower the children they love and serve. To subscribe to Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller's monthly E-zine on Response-Able Parenting, go to chickmoorman.com
Additional Parenting Resources:
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Vicki Lansky's Practical Parenting Tips: Over 1,500 Helpful Hints for the First Five Years. A treasured classic of time-tested tips and advice from the American Academy of Pediatrics and from parents "in the trenches."
Free Subscription to Baby Talk Magazine Babytalk has all the information expectant and new parents want and need Ė from health and safety issues to the latest and greatest products for baby.
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