We are currently enjoying beautiful weather out here on the west coast. The trick is to set aside chores that can wait (and in reality, most can), and get out and enjoy the weather. The other day I went to the dentist for my regular maintenance. Not my favourite activity. But I turned it into a positive by enjoying the drive and walk in the sunshine.
Once the weather gets lousy our kids will be in the house with us more than usual. And one topic that will arise is the question of whining. Why do kids do it? What can we do to stop it?
So let’s get ready for a winter season with an end to listening to those awful whiney voices.
How to put a stop to whining.
M-o-m-m-m, I want a candy. Pl-e-e-e-a-s-e, can I have a candy?”
Can you hear it? That high-pitched voice, the classic whine. Why can’t she just calmly say, “Mom, could I please have a candy?”
Whining, that high-pitched repetitive sound, drives most of us to distraction and causes us to respond. Let’s face it; if she simply asked politely if she could have a piece of candy, you would be much happier. Mind you, it is candy so you would likely say no, or you can have it after dinner. But if she’s whining and keeps it up you just might give in order to get relief from the noise.
And, not only does she get the candy, she learns that whining works. She can wear you down.
Whining is a typical child behavior. Whether or not it continues depends on your response. It is particularly common among three-year-olds. Some parents of threes say that it seems that their child has lost her real voice and simply whines all day long.
It would be easy to decide that if whining is typical pre-schooler behaviour all you need to do is stick it out until it passes. Unfortunately, that rarely works. Just think of an adult you know who stills drives you crazy with her incessant whining! So, while you can relax and know there is nothing wrong with your child, she’s typical, you still have to teach her that this in just not the way to communicate.
Kids learn by paying attention. I know, it seems that they simply ignore most of what you do and say, but in reality, they are extremely alert. If you want proof, watch their play, particularly when they play house. You will see and hear yourself in ways you never expected.
So, if you come home from a lousy day at the office and promptly start whining about your day, know that your kids are learning their tone of voice from you. Try to listen to yourself and practice talking about your bad day in a civil manner.
A very effective way to treat whining is to prevent it. Make sure she’s getting enough sleep and meals and snacks at regular intervals. Kids do not handle being hungry or tired with any grace or dignity. Whining is most often the result. If they are hungry or tired, ignore their tone of voice and deal with the problem by offering a snack or settling them down for a nap.
He may also simply be bored. Whining may be a signal that he’s ready for pre-school, for some new challenges and responsibilities, or visits from friends.
When you can’t prevent the whining, you can model appropriate language and tone of voice. Simply say, “Jennifer, if you want something you need to learn to use your proper voice.”
When whining has become a regular habit, have a chat with her and explain that you are just not going to listen to that annoying voice any more. Tell her that when she whines, you will not pay attention but when her voice goes back to normal you would be thrilled to talk to her. Resist the temptation to remind her repeatedly that you are not going to respond to whining. By reminding her, you’re responding, and she is getting the attention he wants.
If whining stops working for her, she will soon drop the habit.
Digital Books Make Parenting Information More Accessible.
Next time you’re sitting in the doctor’s office, lying on the couch fighting a cold or on transit and wish you had something to read, think about Parenting Today’s digital parenting books.
You can choose from Who’s in Charge Anyway? which talks about roots. It provides a clear road map for parent to focus on the tough but rewarding job of raising children to be responsible, self-disciplined adults.
But Nobody Told Me I’d Ever Have to Leave Home talks about raising children to become capable young men and women.Vive la Différence focuses on specific parenting issues.
The first two are also available in print. Just log onto the store on the site and they are yours for the reading.