Ending The Whining!


A whining child is bad enough but a chorus of multiple whiners in a day care environment can seriously challenge your sanity. We all know how  draining and irritating the 'whine zone' can be.  Most of us will take a full blown yet short lived tantrum over the constant, ongoing, nerve grating torture that is a whiny child.  Fear not, it is possible to deal with the offending whinester and restore some semblance of peace and tranquillity.

Hunger, tiredness, boredom and feeling unwell are factors that can precipitate whining sessions.  Attempting to identify if any of these are the triggers can help minimize the whinefest.  Unfortunately, whining is a very unattractive trait that, if left to it's own devices, can become a method of communicating which may last for many years.  Though there is no sure fire way of curing whining there are methods you can use to prevent outbreaks.

Attracting adult attention can often be the reason a child whines usually as a last resort.  The whine is the final result of their escalating attempts to gain recognition.  Adults, we have the power to acknowledge the little ones.  You can often preempt the annoying behavior by simply listening to what kids are trying to say.  Get down to their level and find out what's going on.  Sometimes a little face time, perhaps doing some quiet activity is all it takes.  Peaceful times can often be achieved via a little constructive attention.

Children need to learn the difference between various tones of voice and discovering how whining sounds is no different.  Explain to the child that a whiny voice is not pleasant, that people don't like it and they stop listening to the whiner.  Help them to understand the negative effect of that sound by involving them in role play or tape recording the whiny voice versus the normal voice.  Listening to themselves as a third party can be effective in helping them understand why whining is bad.  Remember to praise the use of a normal voice when appropriate.

A child will whine when she is unable to express herself.  Try to recognise when this is the case and instead of reprimanding try to help the child verbalize their needs.  Help her with the verbiage so she is encouraged to tell you what is wrong.  Discussing feelings and needs means the child has less reason to whine.  The realisation that talking about her issues is more productive than whining will result from your positive attention.

When a child is whining distraction is a great tool for ending the tirade.  The whines can be silenced by completely switching the subject and animatedly indicating something fun.  'Does that bird have an umbrella?'  A bored child is a whiney child so recognise the signs of a kid on the road to boredom city.  Introduce a fun and compelling activity thus anticipating and ending tedium.  The whining option won't even be a consideration when a child is busy.

A child seeking recognition recognises any attention as a success so don't do negative attention.  Avoid yelling.  Never label a child a whiner – this is not a standard or expectation you want to set for them.  Finally, remain calm and never give in to whining.  Though you may be gnashing your teeth stick to your guns.  Giving in after 20 minutes of incessant whining sends a message to the child that persisting with this behavior pays off.  The child will learn that you respond positively only to a normal voice.  It's tough but stay the course and you could have a positively serene environment.

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May 26, 2008
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May 26, 2008

This article has been included in the latest edition of MOM'S BLOGGING CARNIVAL.

JHS @ 5:02 am #

Thanks for participating in this week's very special Memorial Day Edition of the Carnival of Family Life at Colloquium! Stop by and check out some of the other wonderful articles included in this edition!

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