Nearly every child has whined at some point, but it’s important for parents to stop whining in its tracks before it becomes a more significant problem. When you don’t deal with this problem, kids start viewing the world like it is always lacking something. They have a tough time enjoying all the wonderful things in life because they spend more time finding the problems than appreciating what they have.
If kids continue to display this behavior, it will start resulting in an adult who is constantly unhappy and negative. Dealing with whiny kids early is important, not only for your sanity, but for the long-term emotional health of your child. Here’s a closer look at the reasons why kids start whining, and tips you can use to stop this problem.
Why is my kid always whining?
The Oxford Dictionaries defines whining as making “a long, high-pitched complaining cry or sound”. Parents often assume that kids know what whining is, but kids don’t automatically know what their actions entail. Before you can try to get your children to stop whining, you need to make sure they know what you are talking about when you address the problem.
Make sure you point out whining to your children when you hear it so they know what you’re talking about. You can also demonstrate whining by role playing a situation between a parent and a whiny child with dolls. Babycenter.com even recommends recording your child when they’re whining and when they’re carrying on a normal conversation. You can play back the recording to help children know what whining sounds like.
Common Reasons Kids Get Whiny
Before you can address whining, it’s important to understand why kids do it. In many cases, this behavior is a sign that there’s a deeper issue with which you need to deal. Figuring out why your child is getting whiny regularly will help you to choose the best strategies for eliminating this undesirable behavior. The following are just a few of the common reasons:
Your Child Feels Disconnected
Children often start to whine when they feel disconnected, and they find that they get attention when they whine. Children need to have emotional support and a connection with their parents, and it’s important to provide this support and connection before your child begins to whine.
Inability to Cope
Even adults can get whiny when they feel overwhelmed. Sometimes children whine because they are unable to cope with what’s going on or what has been asked of them. Pay attention to what is being asked of your child and try to ensure that you don’t overwhelm your child. For example, if your child is tired and hungry and you take your child on a long shopping trip, the stressful situation may be more than your child can cope with, resulting in whining.
Whining Instead of Crying
You may be surprised to find that kids sometimes whine instead of crying, especially as they grow older and start to gain more control over their emotions. When this occurs, you may need to let your child know that it’s okay to express their emotions by crying.
To Get Results
Of course, the most common reason that children whine is because it often gets them the results they want. Whining is frustrating to the parent, and it’s easy to give in to your child. Your child starts to realize that they get what they want when they whine, which means they’ll try it again and again until you take measures to stop this behavior.
5 TIPS to Curtail Whining
It’s essential to help your child learn how to express themselves in acceptable ways. If they continue to get their demands satisfied by whining, he’ll continue to think it’s an effective means of communication. Use the following tips to eliminate this problem for good.
Tip #1 – Start Calling Out Whining When it Happens
Make sure that you instruct your child to talk in a normal tone of voice if they want your attention.
Tip #2 – Show Your Child Better Ways to Address a Problem
Since kids often whine because they aren’t aware of how to express their feelings, try helping your child to identify their emotions. Start a conversation with your child and try to teach your child better ways to address problems when they occur. BabyCenter.com recommends telling your child that you can’t understand them well when they whine, and you can put your hands over your ears to give your child visual cues that the whining is a problem. Remember, younger children still have limited communication skills and it’s common for them to become frustrated if they have a tough time expressing themselves. By showing your child how to address problems effectively, they’ll be less likely to engage in this behavior.
Tip #3 – Consider Starting a Whining Jar
If you give your child an allowance, consider starting this warning. If the behavior continues, they’ll lose some of their allowance to the whining jar. It’s a good idea to have the money on hand and to have children actually place the money they lost in the jar. However, as money builds up in the jar, you may want to give them a chance to win back the money they lost with good behavior or doing a few extra chores.
Tip #4 – Be a Good Role Model
Don’t forget that you need to be a good role model for your child. Adults often whine too, and if you whine, your kids are sure to notice it. When you’re around your child, think about the way you communicate. Do you complain about work or about the things you don’t have the money to buy? Your children learn how to act from you, so make sure that you do not exhibit whiny behavior for your child to follow.
Tip #5 – Reward Your Child for Good Behavior
One of the best things you can do to stop whining is to reward your child for good behavior. If your child asks for something in a normal, calm way, recognize that good behavior. Even if you need to refuse the request, reinforce the good communication. Positive reinforcement makes your child less likely to resort to whining in the future.