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Parenting tip: Whining Help

on July 5, 2014

Definition of whine (v)

Bing Dictionary
  1. complain peevishly: to complain in an unreasonable, repeated, or irritating way
  2. make high sorrowful sound: to cry, moan, or plead with a long, plaintive, high-pitched sound
  3. utter something in whining voice: to say something in a plaintive high-pitched voice

Whining for most parents is crazy-making! Like hands over your ears run away screaming crazy 😉 Here are some tips to help!!

First try to notice when the whining starts…is the child tired? hungry? needing attention? Once you see the reason behind the behavior the easier it is to know how to react and/or respond.

Here are some ways to respond to the unavoidable whining…

1. Know that all kids will whine at some time or another and some more than others. It just is. Once you accept that it is bound to happen it won’t at be a shock. 😉

2. The hug method. When a child whines pull them onto your lap for a big hug. Don’t mention the whining just say “I think you need a hug”. When in doubt, hug!

3. Make a joke. Be funny. Turn into the tickle monster. Anything funny and smiley to redirect them.

4. Let the child know that whining is hard for you to understand or hear and when they use their normal voice you will be able to help them. If you need to you can tell him/her that if they continue to whine you will need to go do something else (like empty the dishwasher or fold laundry or just sit on the couch with a book) and when they are ready to come get you. Sometimes it’s best to explain and then move away.

5. Try not to let it bother you. It may be a stage. It may be because they are tired, hungry, any number of reasons and it’s ok for some children to work it out on their own. Just smile.

6. Set up a goal and a reminder word/signal for when kids whine. But have this discussion when they aren’t in whining mode. Talking with our child/ren about how we will help them notice when they have slipped into the whiny tone. Maybe set a goal for no whining in a 2 week period and reward with a fun family outing to ___(park, dollar store, beach, ___) . Then the next time the whining starts, just smile and say, ‘Ooops, that was kinda whiney…’ and usually the child will smile and say, “Oh, oops…” and try again. Or maybe pull your ear as a code that you need them to re-say their request.

7. Give Encouragement. Some children whine when they are feeling discourage. They may whine “I can’t do this”, or “I never get to ____”. At these times a hug and some encouragement and self-esteem building is a good strategy. Say, “I can hear you are frustrated, I’d love to help you. Explain what you need help with…

8. Give extra attention. Sometimes kids just need more attention. It may be because they are in a new developmental stage or they are stressed for some reason, or they just feel like they need us more. This can be hard for parents when we have so many other tasks that feel like they need to be done. Don’t worry about the dishes or the laundry for a few hours. When we give our child/ren the needed undivided attention, after a while they will begin to exhibit more independence and push us away (in a sense) to have some self time. The laundry can wait 🙂

9. Say “I love you!” Sometimes just those 3 words can break the whine. It causes the child to pause and start over. Then we can say “I’m sorry, I interrupted you, “I just wanted you to know I love you, what do you need?” This should shift the tone.

10. Try any of the above different times and see what works for your child and you. Know you are not alone and that all kids will at some time whine. You may hear your self whine every so often… 😉 We’re all human, no matter our age.

Hopefully these 10 tips help keep the crazy-making at bay and we can all sit back and have some cheese with our whine. Sorry, I just couldn’t resist 😉

What helpful tips do you have to not let whining become the norm and help keep the crazy out of it for us parents??


3 responses to “Parenting tip: Whining Help

  1. Katie @ Pick Any Two says:

    These are great tips! My toddler is just starting to enter a whiney phase, and so far turning into the tickle monster has been a major help. 🙂

    • Megan L. says:

      Thanks 🙂 Yes, the tickle monster is a good one!! My oldest doesn’t like to be tickled now that she is five…so I had to come up with some stand in solutions. She just ‘forgets’ as she calls it and likes the gentle reminder that she is in fact sounding a bit whiny. And hugs here always seem to work 🙂

  2. […] In parenting tips & tricks I wrote about kids and feelings, the need for us to teach children about emotions and how to handle them in a healthy way, about children and depression and the need for support. Parenting tips about toy clean-up and help to deal with whining. […]

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