Friday, August 21, 2009

HelpMeStopTheWhining.Com

Dear Mr. Google,

How do I stop my toddler from whining?

Thanks,
A (very annoyed) (frustrated) (feeling like a failure) Mommy

Surprisingly, Mr. Google had tons of advice on helping stop the whining. Why hadn't I thought of that before? My little Henry is pure joy. He's loving, talks non-stop, loves to play, play, play, makes us laugh all the time, and has become a master whiner. I know all kids go through this at some point. It's all a part of their development and how they express themselves, but I don't think that makes it acceptable. At times we want to pull our hair out! Especially lately. So that's where Mr. Google came in handy. Some good tips I learned:

Don't reward it. Duh! Of course we all know this one. We don't honor his request when he whines, but we are frustrated that after every time he whines for more drink and every time we tell him he can't whine, that he chooses to do it again and again. Maybe he doesn't understand what whining is? So, we sat down yesterday and had a chat about talking appropriately. I demonstrated an ear-drum-damaging whiny question, and then the same question in a "big boy voice". He seemed to understand it 100%. Well, he at least thought it was funny. So, lesson 1 done.

Another thing I read was instead of snapping at him out of frustration when he whines....which basically sounds like an adult form of whining....I'm trying to calmly respond with "I can't understand your whining voice, you need to use your big boy voice." Notice my use of the word trying....:) I also got some advice from a friend to demonstrate the whining right back to him so he can hear what he sounds like immediately. I'm trying this too.

Though still not appropriate, there may be a reason for his whining. Tired? Hungry? Frustrated? Overwhelmed? I'm trying to be more sensitive to these possibilities while still correcting the behavior. I know I get cranky when I'm hungry. Psh, I can barely function when I'm hungry! But that's where my 29 years of experience come in handy. I know that I can just simply get myself something to eat while not whining and crying about it. I guess 2 1/2 years just isn't enough time to figure that out? Oh, how I wish it were.

Of course, the usual "be consistent" will hopefully help too.

I feel like this is a hard area for us. When he does something that is flat out disobeying, it's easy to know when and how to discipline. When it's something where he's trying to express his emotions and it comes out as whining, well, what do you do? SO I'm hoping that teaching him how to behave and express those feelings and questions the correct way will help over time. And trying to avoid over-tiring or over-hungry situations in the first place. I probably also need to be realistic and know it's not going to all stop in one day. Which is what I want. That's what I waaaannnntttt. Pllleeeeaaassseeee. I WANT it to stop nnnooooowwwww! And I wonder where he gets his behavior from......

I'm not alone here, right? Other children whine too, don't they? So how do YOU try to correct it or try to prevent it? Any good tips? I'm desperate here.

OH, and try this out:

www.kids.woot.com

This could be fun!

4 comments:

Mama Foster said...

Ben doesnt whine persay yet...but he yells and cries when he wants something which is equally as frustrating. I tell him to stop crying and calm down and i will talk to him. he totally understands too because when he wants to he can calm himself down. we've also just recently started time out in the chair. trying to do the supernanny thing and sit him down no matter how many times he cries or gets up until he sits there and is calm. its hard...but i think helping. i didnt even think about the whining part happening soon...ahh!

une autre mère said...

Has he been watching Caillou again? :) haha

Millie is doing the same thing lately. I'm convinced that her normal voice now just sounds like a constant whine. We've started doing time out on the steps for whining. We spank for outright bad behavior, but it IS hard with whining because sometimes they really do need something. So the time out thing has been effective for her. We just say, "Go sit on the steps," and she actually does - albeit begrudgingly. Then after a few minutes we go and talk to her about why she's in time out and she has to apologize. She still whines, of course, but at least it stops it for awhile.

The Sneaky Mommy said...

Mine whine...x3! It's not a constant problem--just waxes and wains with the moon or something! I think I've tried every "parenting trick" out there for whining, too! I've finally found with our kids it works best to tell them they are whining, whining is sin and it must stop. Then they get a quick wap on the back of the leg. After an "I'm sorry. Please forgive me", we're back in business! It also helps if I nail it first thing in the morning or else it.drives.me.crazy!

Erica said...

I have found that if Elise is whining for something that I don't want her to have/do (which I guess is the usual reason for her to whine...) if I give her two choices of something different to redirect her, and stick w/ those two choices, she will make a decision, stop whining, and even be happy with her decision and have forgotten about what she was whining for - works almost every time, and it's a pretty short process...try it!

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