To Stop Child Whining! Tips to help parents by pros | How to help your child stop whining? You’ve hired a babysitter. Made dinner reservations, dressed your toddler in her pajamas. And you are ready for a long-awaited evening out with your spouse. The babysitter arrives and you plan to kiss your child goodbye and head out the door.
Instead, you feel small arms cutting off the circulation in your legs and an alarming. Siren-like voice begging. “Mommy, Daddy, take me with you, Pleeeease! Don’t go! I want to go with youuuuuuu….”
To Stop Child Whining! Tips to help parents by pros!
Whining has been defined as a verbal complaint conducted in a sing-song (wavering) manner in a pitch above that of the normal speaking voice. Parents who can handle almost any other behavioral problem with ease often find themselves powerless to deal with this type of assault on their eardrums.
It’s not so much the words your child uses as the sound effects. Some experts believe whining peaks around the ages of three or four. This habit can start in very young children. And extend far beyond the early school years. It is very easy for families to get caught up in a cycle of continual whining and scolding.
Why Do Children Whine?
Just as babies fuss and cry to let you know they are uncomfortable. Whining could be “. . . a natural evolution of this attention-grabbing behavior. According to Stephen, a school psychologist in Austin, Texas. Your child may not have the words to describe how he is feeling. And will resort to whining instead. Some reasons for whining include:
- Medical Problems. Your child may have an earache, sore throat, stomach ache. Or even vision problems.
- Trouble in School or with Friends: He may be struggling with reading or math. His best friend may have hurt his feelings.
- Need for Attention. Small children love to be heard. And will sometimes use whining as a guaranteed way to get you to listen!
- Challenged by a Task. Whining may occur when a child feels something is too hard. Such as homework or a difficult puzzle.
- Boredom. Perhaps she is not used to thinking of things to do on her own. Or she can’t play outside due to bad weather.
- Special Temperament. Children who tend to be impatient. Or extra-sensitive will whine more than others.
- Feeling Deprived. If your child feels he is not getting enough love. Or understanding, he will whine to express his unhappiness.
Maybe Mental Issues!
- Feeling Confused. Receiving mixed signals from you about her whining will cause her to whine even more. For instance, if you whine back at your child, imitating her in an exaggerated way. It could reinforce whining behavior. The imitation will only humiliate her, it won’t stop her.
- Feeling Rushed. If your child whines every morning while getting ready for school. He may be trying to tell you he wants to take things more slowly. A panicked dash for the door every day may make him feel insecure and worried.
- Feeling Powerless:Children sometimes feel so frustrated by having to always ask for permission, for everything from staying up later to having extra dessert, that they express their annoyance through their voice.
- Feeling Tired or Hungry: Whining is common when children’s basic needs are not met consistently or adequately. They simply may not be getting enough sleep or enough to eat to keep them happy.
To Stop Child Whining! The Alternative;
Children certainly have a right to express frustration and unhappiness. There is no reason they should not be able to ask for what they want. But there is also no reason parents should have to listen to whining. Children need to learn to say specifically what they are upset about or what they feel they need in their normal speaking voice. If parents do not respond to whining, children will learn it is not effective. Speaking in a pleasant voice and communicating clearly might be a good rule to make for the whole family!
If your child is asking for attention, give it to him. Of course, as in the situation given earlier, if you are on a tight schedule and headed out the door, don’t let him disrupt your plans. But if you’ve just come home from work and want to sit down for ten minutes before making dinner, make a point of saying hello, compliment him on the picture he’s drawn, and tell him you’ll play a game with him later after dinner. Then you might possibly be able to get the few minutes of rest you need without being interrupted by whining.
Stop Background Noise!
If your child seems to whine when your home is loud. Remember that children want to be heard. Turning off the television or the radio will eliminate background noise. So that your child will feel she can talk to you without competition.
Another suggestion is to help your child feel more in control. Let him make simple decisions such as which shirt to wear. Or which book he wants you to read to him. This will give him practice communicating what he wants without whining. According to JoAnne Ph.D., “The more children learn to express their preferences, the less likely they are to fall back on whining to get what they want.”
To Stop Child Whining! Ask your child to help!
Keep challenges, such as puzzles or games that are too hard, to a minimum. If your child gets frustrated while trying to do something, suggest another way for her to do it. The opposite problem, boredom, is more likely to be a problem with older children. Ask your child to help you make a list of “Fun Things To Do.” Cut up the list and put it in an envelope. When she feels like there is nothing to do, she can pull out one of the ideas.
Make sure your child understands you won’t respond to anything but civilized behavior. Make it clear that the tone of voice is the problem. Tell him you will be able to listen when he uses a nicer voice. Simply say, “We don’t talk that way.” By responding firmly, you are not allowing him to have success with whining. Let him know that you won’t let down no matter how much of a fuss he makes. “Sorry, but I can’t hear you when you whine!”
To Stop Child Whining! Let her know you hear her!
When your child starts whining less often, make sure you reward this behavior with praise. Of course, asking nicely won’t guarantee she always gets what she wants. But let her know you hear her, and that you like the way she is talking to you. It’s part of life to learn that not all things are possible. For instance, going back to the original example. When your child begs you to not go out, or to stay home with him, tell her. “Your Dad, and I have a special date tonight. Let’s circle the day on the calendar that we are going to take you out to a movie. See, that’s in two days!”
Reward good behavior. Occasionally give your child a treat without even being asked! In her book, Your Baby and Child, Penelope Leach says, “If you take your child shopping and he whines for candy, you may well buy him some for the sake of peace. If you take him shopping and he doesn’t whine for candy, does he get any?”
Giving her more attention!
One of our jobs as parents is to teach children how to maturely meet their needs. We can also show them that authority figures can be reasonable and generous. Your consistent approach to dealing with the problem of whining is key. If whining never gets the results your child wants, she will be likely to stop. And, again, giving her more attention of a positive kind, including cuddling, hugging, playing together, and reading to her, is the simplest way to cut down on whining.