You know, whining when you hear it. Hearing a squeaky child can be emotionally disgusting for a parent, but whining is more than just screaming and crying.
Crying in children is normal and sometimes unavoidable. It’s her way of communicating new emotions. While you can’t prevent all whining, you can develop tools to help manage whining episodes with your child.
Why do Children Whine?
When adults are upset, they say, “I’m upset,” explain their feelings, talk about why they’re upset, and sometimes justify what they’re going through. Children cannot do that. When they get upset, frustrated, or sad, they can’t explain it to their parents. Instead, they whine. A more sensitive child may whine. They experience their emotions more intensely and have no way to express themselves other than whining.
You may notice that your child whines at certain times. In the afternoon before lunch or close to nap time. This is how you react when you are hungry or tired. However, whining doesn’t always mean you’re hungry or tired. They may whine in response to stress. Even most adults have difficulty coping with stress, so understandably, children complain when faced with unfamiliar pressure.
What do you do when your child whines? You will talk to them, ask them why they are complaining, and hold them back. Your child will learn from this routine. Your child needs your attention more than anything else. Even if they whine about wanting cookies, your attention may be the most important thing.
When your child howls, he learns you are paying attention to him. You pick up on that reaction and learn to use it. They know that when they want something, they can whine and get it.
How to Keep Your Child From Whining
There are no magic words to stop whining. There are ways to deal with a crying episode, but it’s more important to prepare yourself and your child to trigger the incident. Watch her tearful episode. Start tracking when and where your child is whining. While trying to deal with their whining, you may notice trends that are otherwise easy to overlook. May regularly moan around mealtime, bedtime, or playtime. By tracking, you can identify why your child is complaining.
Be prepared. You can prepare only if you know what to prepare. Once you’ve identified the typical triggers for your child’s whining, consider ways to avoid episodes. If your child tends to whine before eating, have healthy snacks to keep him full until he eats. If he whines while getting dressed for the day, add music or turn the activity into a game.
If nothing works, make sure your child has a place to whine. Please send them to their room or private area until they stop complaining. Make sure there are consistently whimsical seats, so your child understands expectations. Weeping areas have two functions. The first is to disconnect yourself from the situation and take a breather. The second feature allows your child to act.
The shedding of tears may seem like punishment. That’s why you need to discuss your expectations for the place of tears with your child. The whining area is so that you can safely whine until you are ready to speak quietly. Demonstrate good behavior. Children are like sponges. Children struggle when they don’t use words to express themselves.
See your answer. If your child tends to squeal, yell, or yell instead of using words when upset, show your child that whining is an appropriate response. You don’t always know what your child is whining about. They may feel nothing to do with what is happening around them. Activities, toys, and puzzles can help distract your child when they aren’t sure why they are whining. Distractions can pull her away from her overwhelming emotions or delay her whining until she’s in a safe place to process those emotions.
Discipline Tips for Parents
There are many disciplinary tips, books, and blogs that offer guidance. Not all measures to stop a child from whining will work. Be patient and remember that a child’s whining is not malicious. No whining is heard. The child whines when he responds. It’s hard, but ignoring their whining teaches them that whining shouldn’t be heard. If your child cries, explain that you can’t hear the crying. You can only listen to them if they speak to you in a calm tone. Like any place on a whim, it puts expectations and agency on them, not you.
Sometimes it’s okay to ignore a child. They want your attention, so the best way to prevent erratic behavior from forming is to turn it away. Ignore their whining as long as you know they are safe. Teach them what to say. Children whine because they cannot express their feelings. Instead of telling me not to complain, tell me what to do instead of whining. Make them realize that whining doesn’t work. Talk to them about how whining makes you feel and your communication expectations. Then give them words to describe their current feelings.
When you talk about your child’s feelings, you can hear their voice. Validate her feelings without focusing on her whining. Praise good habits. Focusing on positive behavior reinforces your child’s behavior. Compliment them when they ask for something, don’t whine. When they get your attention, don’t whine and compliment them. Reinforcing good habits gives you the tools to replace bad habits. With good communication skills, there is no need to complain.
The most powerful tool in your toolbox is ignoring capricious children. Attention reinforces their behavior. Every time they whine, your child learns it works.
What is the Cure for Whining?
Should children get what they want by whining? Not. Do you want them to learn that they can assert themselves by making good arguments and presenting them in a wise, humorous, and engaging way that suits both your and their needs? If they want to go anywhere in life. But how can we help children in this transition?
Whining is common among toddlers and preschoolers. Parents are usually advised to tell their child to ask in a “nice” voice. But whining is a symptom of a deeper problem. So, to eliminate whining, you must deal with what’s underneath. If your child’s whining drives you crazy, here are six parent-proven secrets to stop whining.
- They whine because they don’t have the internal resources to do what they are asked to do.
People cry when they are overwhelmed. As a toddler, he growled and threw himself to the ground, but by age 3 or 4, he began to whine. Meet his needs for food, rest, downtime, turnaround time, and connection with you, or you can rely on him to complain. He may not have as many tantrums as he used to, but he will undoubtedly whine if you force him to put up with that purchase while he’s hungry and tired. Do we create negative situations that foster the habit of giving and whining?
- She whines because she needs more connection.
Make sure your child gets enough of your positive attention without being provoked. Get her attention before she asks, and try not to whine. Those who have had to ask a romantic partner, “Do you love me?” We know that the attention given after you’ve asked for it can never meet that need. The trick is to take the initiative to pay attention to what your child isn’t asking for so they can feel your support and Connection.
And, of course, connecting when she shows the first signs that she needs your emotional support before taking the plunge is essential. You don’t pay to reward “bad” behavior. It’s our job to get internal resources to deal with. Connection is a basic human need without which children cannot function well.
- You whine because you don’t like what’s happening, and you feel powerless to get what you want.
Lawrence Cohen, the author of the beautiful book Playful Parenting, says:
“When children whine, they feel helpless. Scolding them for whining or refusing to listen to them reinforces their feelings of helplessness. If they give in to stop whining, we reward their powerlessness. However, inviting them to use their powerful voice in a relaxed and playful way builds confidence and competence. . And we found a bridge to our close connection.”
Don’t forget to connect them instead of manipulating them. Start by letting her know that she hears what she wants and understands her point.
“You keep telling me you want to go to the playground. You’re disappointed here, stopping at all these stores you didn’t expect, right?” To stop whining, feeling heard may be sufficient.
Then, if she keeps whining, playfully say, “You don’t sound like me. Where did the usual strong voice go?”
Demonstrate confidence in your child’s ability to use their “strong” voice and offer to help them find it by making it a game.
“Hey, where did your strong voice go? She was here a minute ago. I love your strong voice! I’ll help you find her. Help her find her. Are you under the chair of No… behind the door? No….hey! You found it! It was a powerful voice!! Yay! I love your powerful voice! Then tell me again in your strong voice what you need. “
This only works if the child still has some internal resources. And when your child sees you listening and trying to help with any problems they have, it only works the second time. Also, children should be given alternatives to make appropriate demands and negotiate. Whining is very often the result of fainting, so helping a child feel they can get what they want in an intelligent way will have an impact for the rest of their lives.
In other words, I don’t want her to know that I’m going through my life with whining and tantrums, but I’m trying to get what I wish by managing my emotions and getting the other person’s opinion. I want her to know she can do it. Look at the perspective and the construction of winning/winning situations. (Of course, that’s what you’re always trying to model.)
So if you don’t have time to go to the playground today, don’t. Empathize with his desires and nurture him through the meltdown, as detailed in #4 below. If you can stay calm and reasonably ask for what you want, you can engage in dispute resolution that results in a win/win solution.
“Well, you want to go to the playground, but I have to go to the home improvement store. Let’s do this:
If you get to the hardware store early, you still have time to stop at the playground on your way home. Do you think you can help me get faster? It’s nice to stay at the playground a little longer, especially if getting on and off is particularly fast.”
“Reward,” you whine. No, you empower him by showing him that finding a solution that works for both of you is the way to get what he wants in life. This “strong voice empowerment” strategy works like magic for the first time or two, but then the child refuses to play and keeps whining. This is a signal that your child needs something else.
- You are whining because you have to cry.
Whether it’s the new babysitter you left him with on Friday night, the kid who snatched the truck in the sandbox, the potty training, or the new baby, he has a lot of feelings about being stressed out. Challenge! Toddlers relieve stress by having a nervous breakdown, but as they age, they gain self-control and start whining instead. Then pull him into your lap and look him in the eye and say:
“I noticed you were very tearful and sad, sweetheart. Can you cry a little bit just by needing a hug? Everyone needs to cry sometimes. I’m here to hold you.”
- Whine because it works.
Don’t reward whining. In other words, don’t give up and buy candy. But there is no reason not to be kind. By responding to his request with empathy (“You’re so disappointed, I said no. You want that candy…”), he helps you feel less lonely when you are disappointed. And there’s nothing wrong with finding something that makes him happy, like a bright red apple or a trip to the playground. This teaches him to look for and propose win-win solutions. Conversely, if he feels he can only get what he wants by whining, he becomes a whining pro.
- You whine because you will do anything to stop it.
Why do parents hate whining so much? Because whining is a more mature form of your child’s crying. It’s letting you know that she needs your attention. And human adults are programmed to respond to whining the same way they react to moaning, so the needs of little people are met. The moment you hear that whining, you respond with fear. Increase. They will do anything to stop it.
But if you can take a deep breath and remember that it’s not an emergency, you’ll feel better and be a better parent. Don’t let the fight-or-flight auto-crisis mode kick in. Don’t feel like you need to solve problems or do anything but love your child. Smile at your child and give him a tight hug. Most of the time, the whining stops.