There’s nothing that gets on a parent’s nerves like a whining child. However, it is important that we don’t lose our cool. There’s a right way and a wrong way to stop kids from whining. From gripe to grumble, these 8 tips can help you stop your kids from whining.
Be Aware of Age
If you are trying to help your child stop whining you need to be aware of what your child can comprehend. For example, you cannot say to a one and a half year old “Honey please stop whining that is really starting to make my blood pressure rise!” A child at that age does not understand what you are saying and probably will whine more! Communicate on a level your child can understand.
Arm Them with Tools
Very young children may whine because they do not have other ways to express themselves. Try to arm them with certain words. If they are whining for “mom,” but they really just need help getting a toy, say “Do you need some help? Do you need help?” Repeat what your child is really trying to say and arm them with the proper tools to express themselves in the best manner possible. Remember that whining can be age appropriate and will disappear when they are better able to express themselves.
Follow through on What You Say
For children of any age it is of paramount importance to always follow through. If you say “no more cookies,” but then always give in your children will know what to expect and keep whining to get their intended end result. Say what you mean – and mean what you say. When your children really understand that you are not going to budge, they will stop even trying.
Ignore If Old Enough
Again if your child is of the appropriate age to really comprehend you, explain that you are going to ignore all whining. Sometimes children whine because they need attention. Giving them more attention when they whine will only serve to fuel their fire. Say to them. “When you Whine I am not going to listen to you or pay attention to you until you can speak properly” Then stick to what you mean and reward your children by immediately attending to them when they stop whining.
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Model the Right Way
Model the right way to ask for things or express yourself to your children. It is very important to encourage your children to express their feelings and emotions. Show them the right way to do so then they are able to learn by example. Remember if they see you whining it will be harder for them to understand why they are not able to do the same.
Reinforce and Praise
Praise and reinforce good ways of speaking on a daily basis. Praise “please & thank you” and reinforce the example that when they speak the right way you will attend to them and engage with them immediately. Also express that you appreciate their listening to you and following your directions.
Use Charts and Rewards
If it is really becoming a problem for older children, try using behavioral modification charts and rewards. You can mark the days that they remained “whine free” with a small reward. On the flip side, when they have a “whiney moment” take away the intended reward for that day or week.
Encourage and Support
It is always important to encourage and support your children, even when they are whining. You never want the message to be that “expressing your feelings angers mom or dad,” but rather learning “how to be mature and engage in appropriate behaviors”. Even when disciplining your children explain that you do want them to express themselves and it is acceptable to do so. However, you are also trying to take the time to teach them because you love them.
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