Sunday, May 13, 2012

Whining

Full question: How did you teach your young kids to minimize whining?

Answers:

Karen and Lance
Kids love to whine; we didn't allow it. We had our share of whiners, but they knew they couldn't get away with it. We would tell them to stop and to tell us what they wanted and that usually solved it. If it goes on for a while it is hard to stop. Whatever a parent lets go on, as far as their children are concerned, keeps getting "bigger". We decided by the time they were 18 months old they could tell what we wanted from them. We stuck to that and we didn't have a lot of problems with them in their later years, especially the teens.

Marianne and John
We think whining for children is such an innate but unsatisfactory way to try to get their needs met.  When they learn that their needs are met much sooner if they don't whine, the whining is greatly lessened.  We would always try to think what might be triggering the whine; hungry, tired, sick, uncomfortable or just needing some parental attention. and then try to meet that need.  If the whining continued out of a power play or control issue, then if possible, we would distance ourselves from the child for a few minutes.  Our grown children do an excellent job with whiners as soon as they begin to talk.  They always say, "use your words" and it reminds them to verbalize their needs instead of whining about them. 

Abigail (and Martin)
We just didn't put up with it.  We recognized that they had a problem, suggested they talk about it, tried to work for a resolution and that was it.  If they kept whining, the conversation was over.  They went to time out, or we said the conversation could continue when they were done whining.  I have to add however, that none of our children were ever very big whiners anyway.

Mary (and Robert)
In thinking about whining I was really stumped.  We just didn't have whiners.  But I do recall something from our first child that might be appropriate.  It seemed like he cried at the drop of a hat.  The first two boys were only 17 months apart and my only complaint about #1 was his crying for attention.  He probably was neglected somewhat or at least believed he was.  Our technique was to lay a yard stick across his doorway and let him know that he was welcome to come out and join the family again when his crying stopped.  I stayed close by (because the first few times he challenged the line) but he got the concept.  He stayed in his room and cried for a few minutes then came out dry eyed.  Sometimes when he was particularly aggrieved, he stayed longer and eventually lost his complaint in playing in his room.  Occasionally he would go to his room on his own and cry.  I followed with a kiss and a hug and an attaboy for knowing where crying is best done.  Usually we only had to say, "Take the crying to your room and leave it there.  Love you!"

Marsha (and Richard)
Whining is something I just couldn’t tolerate.  With my children the solution was simple and effective.  When a child said something in a whiny voice I simply said, “I can’t hear you when you whine.”  I did not respond to anything he/she said until it was repeated in a pleasant voice.  Sometimes I asked him/her to try asking again.  He/she knew what I wanted and complied.   It worked like a charm for me.

Cynthia (and Brad)
I tried to anticipate situations in which this would happen, i.e. going to the grocery store and whining for candy or toys, and told them that we would not be buying any of that, so please don't ask. If they were not old enough to understand, the method was  pretend that you did not hear it. Any acknowledgement only encouraged it, as in Pavlov's dog ha ha

Rachel (and Bennett)
Basically, I told my children I would not respond to them if they were whining.   When they could restate their request nicely, I would answer.

Kenneth and Catherine
On whining - we sang "If you chance to meet a frown, do not let it stay.  Quickly turn it upside down and smile the frown away. No one likes a frowny face, change it to a smile.  Make the world a better place by smiling all the while."  We would frown during the first part of the verse and pass our hand upward in front or our face to make a smile and then repeat this for the second verse.  We found smiling to be infectious.

Anna and Gerry
We tried it all, and still have to believe that kids are just going to whine—just be patient, because they DO grow up! 

Jane (and Samuel)
Funny but I don't remember whinning so much!  Even when I hear it in my grandchildren it doesn't make me think of their parent's whining behavior. Either it was so bad I blocked it out or they really didn't whine a lot.  I know we didn't say "Stop your crying or I'll give you something to cry about!" like MY dad did.  I hated that.  I think they learned that it didn't get them what they wanted whereas persistent effort could.  We tried to divert attention or create compromises quickly and sometimes we just agreed with them about how sad it was that they couldn't have what they wanted.  Sometimes you just have to be a broken "no" record.

Next week's question: What did your family do on Sundays (besides church)? What Sunday rules or traditions did you have? How did you spend your time?

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