Five parenting tips to put a stop to your child's whining(Read article summary)
Five parenting tips to help put a stop to your child's whining around the house. From infant to adolescent, whining is a normal stage of development, but the way you handle the situation can mean the difference between conflict resolution and misery.
Iâve never met a parent who likes â no, is even OK with â whining. For me it was like nails on a blackboard. Many parents donât know of another torture that would be worse.
Whining is as developmental and normal in a toddlerâs life as discovering the pleasure of saying âno." Donât think about teaching your child not to do it. Do think about ways you can help yourself deal with it calmly and perhaps shorten itâs duration. Here are a few:
Donât call it whining. Itâs very hard to talk to your child about whining without being critical and blaming. âStop whining.â âI canât hear you when youâre whining.â These proclamations will not get you what you want. It may only make it worse.
Make a compassionate association when you hear it. Can you instead think about how frustrated your child is feeling â even if itâs over something you wonât allow. I once heard Aletha Salter say that whining is stuck crying. A child who whines is actually trying hard not to cry so the cry gets stuck. Sometimes validation of the frustration will bring on the crying which eliminates the whine â for now.
Donât try to teach anything during the whining. As soon as the whining is past and you hear your childâs ânormalâ voice, name it. âThereâs the Sarah voice. What shall we name the voice you use when you feel really frustrated?â Let your child name it. Then when you hear the whine, you can say, âI hear the ââ-â voice. Do you need to use that or can you use the Sarah voice?â You might name a couple of different voices you use as well.
Give the connection that is really needed. If you donât think you have to teach your child to stop whining, when you hear it, get down to your childâs level and validate the frustration. âYou really wish I could do what you want. I know I would want that too if I were you. Will you take a hug for now?â
Pay attention to the times your child doesnât whine. Itâs so easy to focus on the tones you hate to hear, but how often do you acknowledge the times your child does a good job coping. Whenever your child doesnât whine when she asks for what she wants, notice it. âYou really know how to ask for what you want. I like that.â
Know that this, too, will pass â even though it may seem like an eternity.
The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best family and parenting bloggers out there. Our contributing and guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor, and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. Bonnie Harris blogs at Connective Parenting.