My Tips to Encouraging Kids To Stop Whining
As a parent we are all familiar with whining, our children whine for various reasons and to get toys, food or attention.
I can tell you that whining really bothers me; it bothers me because I know that my children are capable of communicating without whining. So, how do we encourage our children to stop whining?
Stop Whining In 5 Easy Steps
1. Dont Give In
If your child is asking for something and uses a whiny voice, have him/her ask again for the item with a different voice.
2. Ask & Wait
Tell your child that you do not understand what they want when they use that voice. Then wait, they should ask you again.
3. Be A Role Model
Role model for your child a ‘proper’ voice, your child may not recognize they are whining. You can do this with your own voice or use dolls etc.
4. Determine “Whining Types”
If your child is not asking for something and whining, acknowledge that they are ‘upset’ about something. Then talk to him/her to determine what is wrong.
5. Don’t Ignore Whining
One important factor is to always respond to your child, ignoring the whining will only make it get worse and your child will most likely feel that their needs are not being met.
It is also important to see if there are certain triggers that are causing your child to whine, are they tired, hungry, upset about something that just happened (hurt).
Once you determine why your child is whining you can then help stop it or at least rescue it. Let’s face it all children whine and some adults even whine. Typically parents give into the whining to make it stop, however; it only increases the whining. If you give into the whining you are just ‘fuelling the fire’ you are teaching your child that when they whine they get what they want.
My son actually stopped whining and asked what I was doing
There are days as a mom that I am tired and the minute I hear my son whine I want to yell, on these days I have to work very hard at not yelling and remembering that I am tired and it is not his fault. I have started to perform deep breathing exercises, I simply stop and breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth.
My son actually stopped whining and asked what I was doing and then tried to do it with them.
This started a trend in our house, we now stop and breather, it does not always work however half the time is better than none at all. I discovered a video on YouTube to teach children about breathing and not letting their inner monster out, it is a great tool for self-regulation. If you go to YouTube and type in Elmo belly breathe you will find a video with Elmo and two other singers.
The other tool that may work is to distract your child from whatever it is they are whining about, I know that it can be challenging to do this when you are out in public.
I have found that my children like it if I pick them up and start running with them in my arms. We pretend that we are an airplane or something else that they choose.
Or if I just run and bounce them up and down it makes them laugh and forget about why they were whining in the first place. A lot of what find works is distracting them with something that they like at the time as it is forever changing.
Finally, making them your ‘big’ helper can also be a great distraction; ask your child to help you with something (washing dishes, find something at the store etc).
Remember: Whining is a Stage
Just remember that whining is a stage and your child will grow out of it.
For now, stay strong and breathe through it.
Read about healthy child attachment strategies.
Amy, having earned a Bachelors Degree in Child Development, has been in the field of Early Childhood Education for the past 10 years. First working in an infant classroom, and then moving to JK, preschool and toddlers. Currently Amy works as a Supervisor of a childcare facility in York Region.