This post comes from Ansonia School Readiness Coordinator Diana Brancato. Diana shares some great strategies to help stop your young child from whining.
I don’t wanttttt to! Pleeeeeeaase!! Whyyyyy nottttt????
Like Styrofoam rubbing together, whining is one of those sounds that immediately gets your attention… and not in a good way! The good news is that parents can definitely influence this challenging behavior. The way we react to the whining and what we say to redirect the whining can make the world of a difference in whether they choose to use this tone of voice or not.
Here are some strategies to help stop your young child from whining:
1. Change the way you think about whining. Understand that your child is not whining to deliberately drive you crazy. Many times a child does it because they feel frustrated or because they want to be heard. It is completely developmentally appropriate for children to express their needs or wants in the fashion of whining. However,
2. Let your child know that whining is not acceptable. You have to let your child know that whining is not a way to express his/her needs and wants. In a calm voice, tell your child that you will not listen to what he/she has to say until he/she talks in a normal tone of voice. Model the normal tone of voice for the child.
3. Ask yourself what might be causing the whining. Does your child whine when he/she has had a long day, hungry, tired or there is a change in routine? Once you answer these questions, you may be able to make some changes that will decrease the whining.
4. Do not give in to the whining. It may seem much easier to give in to your child’s whining request for that toy or that cookie but it would definitely be a mistake. Giving in will encourage the child to use whining as the way to get what he/she wants/needs.
5. Stay consistent. If you do not want your child to whine for his/her needs/wants then you must enforce the “no whining allowed” rule consistently. Do not make it acceptable one time because that sends a mixed message to your child.