When your Child’s Whining Becomes a Problem
The most common child behavioral issue is whining. It can be compared to the sound of fingernails on a chalkboard after a while. A child that whines knows that they will have your attention immediately. Whining is one of those sounds that just causes parents to be on edge. Studies have even shown that this behavior is among the most distraction-causing sounds and maybe this is why it comes so naturally for children for when they want or need something.
But parents can change and influence this annoying behavior. It’s how you as a parent react to that behavior and what you say to your kids that can influence whether or not they continue to use this unpleasant articulation.
Always remember that whining occurs less and less as children grow older. It’s a rare occurrence to see a child in elementary school whine, especially when the parents are consistent, and lovingly communicate with their whining child. Parents should make sure their children understand that a behavior like this is not tolerable and it is not a constructive way for them to express themselves.
Here are a few ways to stop your whining child:
Strategies to curb whining children
Parents of school-age children should understand that they don’t use whining to drive you crazy on purpose. Through whining, they express some kind of frustration or maybe they just need parents to pay attention to something. When a child expresses frustration about what they need and want, you have to understand that it is a typical part of child development and it’s considered a good thing.
Notice if your child whines when he or she has had a stressful day at school, or when they haven’t eaten, are tired or want to do different things with you. You might consider the recent changes in their lives, such as a new baby or a problem with their friends. Start to think about some changes in their routines that could possibly help curb the whining and other negative ways of behaving. Spend some quality time with your child, read some books they like, play a game together or help them with the homework.
Sometimes your child may not even know he or she is whining so this is where you call them out on it. Call their attention to this behavior by showing them what they sound like. You should use good humor here and use sentences like, “What would it sound like to you if parents went around whining about things they didn’t want to do? Mainly like getting out of bed in the morning, doing chores around the house, and then show your child what they sound like. Make sure you don’t make fun of the child because the point is to show an example of what they sound like, not to tease them.
Children have to see this kind of behavior is not the answer. Just like they already know that it is not acceptable to hit when they didn’t get it their way. You can teach them that the whining is terribly unpleasant for everyone around them and won’t get them what they want. Talk clearly and firmly and tell your child that you will not pay attention to what he or she has to say until they say it in a normal tone.
Do you remember the times when they fell on the ground and before they make any movements, they would just look at you and wait to see how you would react to their accident? This can be compared to their whining now. You can try and stay calm while they whine because if the children see you overly affected by their behavior, they can turn it to their advantage. Remember every action causes a reaction.
Don’t give in, sure it would be easier to let your child eat the whole bowl of candy to stop whining, but wouldn’t that be a big mistake? You would be encouraging the child to use this behavior again on top of watching a cranky kid crash from eating too much sugar.
To not be consistent in your behavior as a parent is the most usual mistake made while trying to discipline your children. Don’t enforce the “no whining” rule for instance because the company is over and the timing is wrong. Be consistent at all times when you set rules with your children. When you are not being consistent in your parenting, you are sending the message that whining is sometimes allowed. Always remember to include, grandparents, friends, caregivers, and teachers in on your rules. If you are a double household and both have remarried, try and use the same rules at both houses. This way you are working as a team with your ex-spouse and his new wife and your new spouse. This also goes along with new sets of grandparents etc. Joint custody doesn’t have to be difficult, it just has to be consistent. If you are having problems with your other half, you can always try counseling or seek professional help because your job is your child. Remember once your child comes into this world, you sometimes have to put your negative feelings aside and work with your child’s father or mother to agree on the correct boundaries and rules in order for your child to succeed. You don’t want to continue getting phone calls or dealing with a new round of whining after you both have made so much progress.
The bottom line is kids are going to whine and it’s going to be annoying. Parents are often under a great deal of stress because both mom and dad are working full-time jobs and the house and kids are the package deal that comes along with being a family. It’s up to you to be consistent, don’t give in, use some Zen if need be. Know your child well because they know you and how you will react if they push harder. Remember to talk clearly and talk firmly about the issue of whining. Set an example because as said before your child is always watching you. Boys try to be like daddy and girls often will mimic their mommies. It hurts not to show that you feel bad that your child is frustrated, but then it’s up to you to know if the child is tired, a change has occurred or they simply are trying to express themselves.