Outside other toddler frustrations, whining is one of the most worrying parts of parenting. The high-pitched, exaggerated tone isn’t something pretty. It is awful for everyone within earshot. Yet, it is very normal. Kids whine to get your attention fast. They develop this whining type of cry as early as 10 months. Full-blown whining starts as they learn to speak and it decreases with age. 3-4-year-old kids whine more frequently. As they have big expectations and desires and are likely to face disappointments.
According to research by Rosemarie Sokol Chang, of SUNY New Paltz in New York, and Nicholas S. Thompson, of Clark University in Massachusetts, kids whining is one of the most distracting sounds. So, we have decided to give you a break with these tried and tested ways to respond to a whining kid.
Effective Solutions to Wipe Out Kids Whine
Catch The Whine Before It Starts
Observe your kid’s particular behavioural signs that lead to a whine. Give him/her positive attention before it even starts. It might sound easy but it’s not always possible. Especially, if your kid starts whining every time you attempt to have a conversation with others.
Do Not Ignore Kids Whine
Though many parents ask you to ignore a whining kid, it might backfire. The longer you let your kids whine, the more he/she’ll become to get their way. Instead, help them understand that the noise is frustrating. You can say kind words like;
- I love listening to you
- I love helping you
- I’m not able to follow you when you whine
- Please don’t whine as I’m unable to follow you
Do not assume that your kids know the term ‘whine.’ Show how it sounds by whining back. You need to even check if they are whining because they’re tired or hungry. Sticking to a proper routine can help prevent meltdowns.
Understand Their Feelings
Get to the bottom and analyse what they need. Find out why they whine. For example, if your kid whines about the long wait time at the supermarket, allow them to push the cart or pick some snacks.
Or if they are simply venting their frustrations, give them a comforting hug or talk to them. For example, if you are travelling, start by saying ” I know you really want to get home, but there are many kids like you in the queue, so we need to wait for our turn patiently.”
Appreciate their feelings and give a valid reason why you’re rejecting their requests. Kids whine to their parents more often because they are emotionally attached to them. This isn’t a behaviour they often try with strangers.
Encourage Them to Rephrase Their Request
When the whining starts, ask your kid in the nicest voice to say what they want. Also, teach them how they should do it. Do not punish your kid because that’s not a better solution. Do not take away their favourite toy or any special privileges. It doesn’t teach them anything. They just end up understanding that their feelings are powerless.
Follow Their Own Game
Dr Thompson, an emeritus professor of psychology and biology has an interesting strategy. As an outcome of his whining studies, he has found that manipulating kids might be the right solution. When a kid whines, tell them ” You are not doing it right. I’ll show you how to whine.” You can easily manipulate a kid and distract his attention. They will surely change their expression and make happy faces.
Whining is a part of their childhood development. But it doesn’t make it any less irritating. It is important to teach them better ways to express themselves to change this behaviour.
What’s your favourite way to stop a whining kid?
Do let us know.