What do you do with the “Wah, wah, wah’s”? Honestly, I don’t think I can bear to hear my children huffing and whining through another moment of selfishness, tiredness or “give me-ness” (Oh, no! Now I’m whining!). A child’s whining is worse than nails on a chalkboard—trust me I tested this theory and whining is far more ear-piercing.
So how do we get them to stop? First, understand the 5 Reasons Why Kids Whine. Then move forward confidently with these 10 Ways to Get Your Kids to Stop Whining. And no, resorting to their level is not on the list—I already checked.
5 Reasons Why Kids Whine:
1. It works. Children learn how to manipulate very young because their little minds can figure out cause and effect. They whine, and you jump to fulfill their every desire. If this happens, they will continue it. “Why ask nicely and wait patiently if whining works faster,” they reason. If this is happening, you should stop giving in. No means no. Calmly explain that whining doesn’t work anymore, and they must say “Please” and ask nicely to have a chance at what they want. It will take some training for them to reverse the whining habit, but before you know it, your children will be saying “Mommy, juice please” instead of hanging on the refrigerator door and screaming.
2. They’re tired. When you are tired, you get a little cranky too! If it’s close to nap time or bedtime, put them to bed a little early. They might welcome the idea. If it’s too far away, try to interest them in something they really like, a toy for example. If they get excited about something else, they may forget they’re tired.
3. They’re hungry. Kids eat… a lot. Especially boys. Try offering your child some food if he’s whining. Sure, they go through the phase where they don’t want to eat anything, but how do we know when they are out of it unless we try? It might be just what they need.
4. They want your attention. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our own daily tasks that we forget to give our child attention. They need “Mommy time” every day. If I haven’t spent enough time with my son, he’ll scream if I leave him for a moment to go to the bathroom. He doesn’t understand work, so turn off the laptop for half an hour if your child is whining. Maybe you’re all he needs.
5. They’re sick. This is especially true if you have little ones who can’t tell you that their ear or throat hurts. Unless they have a fever, we don’t always know that they are sick. Take them to the doctor and find out. You might be surprised to find out they have a “scale nine” ear infection.
10 Ways to Get Your Kids To Stop Whining:
1. Ignore them.
The vast majority of parents polled on this subject all say that ignoring a whining child is a great technique. This tends to come easier for women than it does for men. However, ignoring a whining child will eventually teach them that it gets them nowhere. As one mom said, “They stop when they see it’s not working.”
2. Leave the room.
When your child begins to whine, simply leave the room. A parent explained, “I walk away from my 8-year-old to another part of the house. He eventually comes around to see if I will throw baseball or whatever. I explain I’d love to if he loses the attitude!” Excellent advice.
3. Remove the cause.
When it happens that your child is whining about a particular item, simply remove access to that item. For example: Your children are whining about a toy they both want. After giving them time to work it out themselves, and it gets to that point, take the toy and put it away.
4. Name it.
A father notes, “I tell them I don’t understand whinese. They know they won’t get very far with me, so they check themselves.” Using humor in this situation not only lightens the tension, it helps to bond with your kids.
5. Time Out.
In cases of young children, the Time Out works for many different issues. This includes whining. An experienced babysitter stated, “Get down to their eye level and explain that you can see they are frustrated. Instruct them to go somewhere quiet and think about why they are upset. In about five minutes, they will come back changed for the better.”
6. Watch your tone.
Men tend to have very low tolerance for whining. It is a natural instinct to want to use intimidation to squash it usually by raising your voice to a high volume. However, this can lower your child’s self-esteem, as well as make them fear you. Instead, try using a firm and strong voice, but in a calm manner.
7. Change the Subject.
A parent notes, “With my 3 year-old, changing the subject has an 85% success rate. When he whines, I will ask him a completely random question he can answer. Then we just move on from there.” Redirecting the attention of young children is always a great technique for many different situations. They are always eager to share their opinions!
8. The Whiny Jar.
If your child receives an allowance, this is an outstanding technique. Whenever your child begins to whine, give them a warning. If it continues, they lose a portion of their allowance, and it goes into The Whiny Jar. When enough money builds up, have them earn back the lost cash with extra chores.
9. You are the role model.
Whining is not exclusive to children. We all whine from time to time, and it does not go unnoticed by your kids. Be sure when you are around them to think about the things you say and how they are said. Your kids are learning how to behave from you. Everything starts at the top, so be a good role model, and you will see the results in your children.
10. Make sure your kids get enough sleep.
The number one reason a child usually becomes whiny is a lack of proper rest. As one doctor puts it, “Parents usually underestimate the amount of sleep their children require to function at their best. Sleep deprivation puts children’s brains in a stress mode that creates a constant state of irritability.” Make sure your child gets a good night’s sleep and it will help in every aspect of their life.