I am sure most parents have been here! Even if you are not a parent, you will probably have witnessed a similar situation!
What I am talking about is whining kids! When children start to whine, it can make even simple tasks and routines a headache.
This kind of situation will test your patience as a parent.
You may have seen some parents getting angry in these situations, frantically trying to negotiate with their children or do whatever it takes to stop the whining.
In this short article we hope to show you that there is a better, more constructive way of dealing with whining in young children.
If you start using these tips when your child is young, you will see that whining will be minimised and maybe even be stopped completely.
Whining Survival Guide!
- Keep Your Composure.It is essential that you remain calm at all times during any situations where you experience whining. It may test your patience, but staying calm will help you deal with the situation rationally and without excessive emotion. A calming voice and a smile will go a long way to helping both child and parent lessen anxiety and stress.
- Don’t Give In. When talking about desirable and undesirable behaviour in young children, we want to highlight good behaviour and ignore unwanted behaviour. When a child whines, if you give them attention, you are teaching them that by whining they can get your attention. You are training them to do it again. So simply explain to your child one time (clearly) why they cannot have what they want and ignore any of the following whining from your child. If you stick to this consistently, you will quickly find the whining will start to reduce, as it is not producing the results your child wants. One word of warning. If your child is older and whining is ingrained in their behaviour, this technique WILL work, but it will take longer.
- Encourage discussion. Let me make this clear. When whining is happening, do not negotiate with your child about what they want at this point! Tell them that you will not talk to them if they are whining, only if they talk to you nicely. Encourage polite discussion rather than whining.
- Highlight good behaviour. As a parent, you want to focus on the good behaviour and ignore the unwanted ones. So, whenever your child behaves well or does something well, be sure to praise them and let them know how happy you are. Positive re-enforcement will encourage your child to behave like this again!
- Don’t worry what other people think! It can be an awful experience as a parent to have your child having a meltdown and whining session in public! In reality, most other parents will understand what is happening and share your pain. Don’t think about quickly covering up the situation to minimise your embarrassment, stick to your guns and follow the tips in this article. This will give you long term success, rather than short term relief!
- Make sure your child is not sick. Naturally, this guide should not really be followed if your child is sick or having some type of medical emergency! So be sure to rule this out first, before you embark on the techniques explained in this article! Having said this, young children are smart. They may start feigning illness as a get out of jail free card!
Whining Prevention Guide:
- Build a Quality Relationship with your Child. Make sure you have an excellent level of rapport with your child. Take time to communicate and interact with them on a regular basis. By doing this, you are making an excellent and lasting connection with your child. This will lessen their need to get your attention by whining.
- Engage and Stimulate your Child. Take the time to do fun and hands on activities and experiences with your child. Whether it be regular trips to the local library or nature walks in the forest. You will find out what your child likes! This engagement will lessen their need to whine.
- Combat tiredness. A lot of whining will happen when your child is feeling tired or hasn’t had enough rest. In the modern world, there is a lot of stimulation around young children that could make their quality sleep time less. Make sure to enforce regular and consistent bedtime schedules for your child. Make sure they are getting enough sleep.
- Energise your child. It has been proven that a healthy diet will help your child have more energy. Too much unhealthy food could result in a cycle of sugar highs and lows for your child. This is a recipe for whining! Organise a nutritious diet for your child with enough healthy food to prevent this happening.
- Switch it Up! When a child is starting to fidget and behave inappropriately, sometimes that means they have simply run out of attention span! Young children have a limited time that they can focus on one thing. By changing up the activity, you could prevent whining or “acting up”. Especially if you are doing a less active activity, switch it up for a more active one if you notice this happening.
- Every Child is Unique. This guide cannot cover every trigger for every child, as each child may have their own unique triggers that lead to whining. Pay attention to the triggers your child has and think about what the route cause of those could be. By eliminating the route cause, the whining should stop.
- Be your child’s Ultimate Role Model. Young children will grow up imitating and following what they see from their parents. So if you don’t like whining in your child, make sure you are not complaining excessively in front of them. Whatever qualities you want your child to carry, you must model these to your child on a daily basis!
Thank you for reading this Best Case Parenting article, and I sincerely hope that our advice can help you with whining in your children! Take the time to follow these simple tips, and you should be well on your way to a whine free zone (not wine! Ha ha ). This will help you enjoy the special bond you have with your child even more!
If you have any personal experience with whining in children, or tips for others, we would love to hear all about them in the comment section below.