"I could sure use some thoughts on how to handle whining."
"When my daughter went through the whining stage I handled it by simply and calmly telling her that she was whining. The message was given in a matter of fact tone. Sometimes I would ask her to repeat what she said, without whining, so that I could understand it. I must admit that this was sometimes very hard for me to do because I hate whining and my natural inclination would be to whine back!"
"My now 6 year old was the absolute worst whiner. I tried whining an answer back to him with little success. What finally succeeded was pretending to be deaf when he whined. He learned pretty quickly that in order to get a response he needed to talk politely. But first I explained what I was going to do. I would take into consideration if he was overly tired or sick and wouldn't ignore him too long. If he was perfectly fine and whining I would even leave his presence if I had to."
"Ignoring it and immediately responding to more appropriate talking, jabbering or silence. Intermittent reinforcement of a behavior is always the best way to maintain a behavior, both negative and positive."
"The most useful way to handle whining is to try to avoid the situations that cause it. Our 2 1/2 year old daughter whines when she's too tired, or if we're not giving her the attention she feels she needs. If you need to do something that can't involve your child, try to distract them first with something they enjoy. Don't be too distracted with your own work to listen and respond to the child. If your child whines even when you are paying attention, try saying: `Use words to tell me what you need', or `I can't understand you when you whine - please speak more clearly'."
"I had problems with whining with my little girl until I shaped up and became consistent with my reaction to her whining. I would ignore whining, after explaining to her that this is not acceptable behavior and I won't respond to it. In the beginning I repeated to her in a nice cheerful voice what she was asking me and would give to her what she wanted when she repeated it without any whine. After a few times all I needed to do was ignore her whine request and right away she would change her tone. Children need limits and rules (according to their age) but mostly they need parents who are consistent with them so they don't become confused as to what you expect."
"When our little girl would whine, we would say, `I'm sorry, but I could not understand you. Please stop whining and say it again'. Then we made sure not to answer her till she talked normally. Just be sure not to raise your voice, that just made her scream."
"We have two methods of dealing with whining. The number one rule in the house is NO WHINING! When my 22 month son whines I ask him what the rule is and 9 times out of 10 he responds with NOOOO WHINING. At this stage we use humor and whining turns to laughing. The second method is to remind him that no one gets what he wants unless he asks nice, with the word please. Be consistent, do not give in to whining."
"Try to intervene before they get into the rut. Treat yourself to a children's song tape to start humming when the whinie's start. Mom can have a basket of `Mom's special toys' on top of the fridge - it's a privilege for child to get them but if the toy is being treated rough or whined on then a `worried' mom rescues the item. Encourage them to solve their own problem of boredom with a couple of choices."
"My 2 1/2 year old is learning to smile when he asks for something, or he doesn't get it. When he comes whining I'll say, `Can you put a smile on your face and say/ask that?' Most times he does so immediately and we say how nice that sounds.... certainly he can have...whatever it was. If he can't put on the smile, he doesn't really need water or whatever - he needs a hug instead or a nap or time alone. He understands this approach - and behavior changes. When I had asked him to stop whining, he couldn't do it, but a smile - he knew how to do that!"
"Make the child aware of his/her tone of vice by asking, `Can you say that in a nice way?' or `Let's hear that in a big boy/girl voice!' This worked on my oldest son as young as 18 months. Sometimes children are just too tired to respond to this and a hug is better. The older child can learn that you won't respond when they whine and will alter their tone of voice."
"I would down play the whining, but praise the child when they ask for things in the way you want them to. I think if you reinforce the good behavior you will see more of it."
"At times I try to make my children laugh and forget their whining, I'll look around the room we're in and ask, `where did my happy little boy go, I don't see him', then he'll come to me and say here I am, then we can calmly talk about his whining."
"There is no cure. All children whine. We get through whining episodes by imitating our children, like the Whiner Family on Saturday Night Live. This usually results in someone breaking into laughter."
"If anyone knows the cure for whining, please publish it! We have been dealing with whining the past 3 or 4 years with our 7 year old. I believe children develop this bad habit as an attention getting ploy at first, and if not corrected, the `habit' is truly formed. When kids are told, `You're whining, I can't understand you when you whine. Please try saying it again like you're talking', they usually gain a sense of awareness about whining. And knowing their parents disapprove of whining, the older child, (5 +) will try to stop."
"First make sure your child understands the word `whining'. I explained it as: crying with words, then showed him what it sounded like. I did this as a mini-lesson not as a mini-lecture right after he was whining. Then the next time he whined I said, `That's whining. Please talk in your regular voice.' Then I would decide how to handle his request.
"My 2 year old was a whiner too. I caught myself responding with general questions like `what's wrong?', `What's the matter?, etc.', which only answered in more whining and no real communication. Now when she whines, I respond with direct questions like `Did you hurt yourself?', `Are you having a difficult time putting on your shoes?', `Would you like me to help you with that?', `Are you tired now and would like to rest?', etc. She began responding to me with direct complaints about what was wrong instead of just whining. If she cannot answer me directly, I leave and ignore her until she communicates to me what is wrong."
"To deal with our `All-Star Whiner', we do several things. If he is whining because he doesn't feel quite right - just waking up or too tired, etc., we tell him he needs some time to sit and wake up or rest and then he can talk to us in a regular voice and we set him in a chair or on the couch or hold him if he needs that, until he feels better and can talk. If he is whining to be manipulative (we're guilty of giving in to the whining when he was our only child!) then, we just flat out tell him we will not listen to him until he can talk to us using his "regular" voice. The reason he whines is to get our attention so he usually complies and talks to us cutting out the whining. This also works for us when he is crying/screaming/talking unintelligible. We tell him we can't understand him so he will have to stop crying and use words and his regular voice. It works - most of the time!"
"Ignore it - and tell the child you cannot hear them when they whine. When a child wants something, they need to say `Mom' ...... (whatever) and `please'."
"I found that sitting my child down and telling her that when she whines, I will not listen and she will not get whatever it is that she wants. Then I stick to it. Make sure you do listen when your child talks to you in a `normal' voice. You may need to remind your child once in a while. Another approach may be `Gee, I think you want something but I can't understand you when you talk this way'."
"We never give in to whining; once you give in to it, the child thinks whining is a good way to get something. When our daughter uses that `whiny' tone of voice, we calmly tell her we can't understand her when she talks like that. Usually she'll stop whining then."
"My daughter - now 7 years old - was a whiner and still does at times. I anguished over this a lot. The thing that worked for me was to tell her I didn't like the whining behavior and tried my darndest to ignore it. They do grow out of it."
"I always try to analyze why my little girl is whining; Is she bored, hungry, tired, wanting total attention or is she wanting something she knows she can't have like my billfold or another grape in the grocery store. She's only 2 years old so this whining will then often turn into tantrums. Figuring out why is half the battle. Then despite what the inconvenience to me, I take care of it. This to me is what makes parenting one of the hardest jobs on earth. If she's whining about something that is not appropriate to give in to, like wanting to go outside when it's time to stay inside, then I explain why we can't go outside, offer an alternative and if the whining continues, I say in a stern voice `That's enough'. There might be a couple of tears, then it is forgotten. There will always be a clash of wills. My goal is to let my baby win some and I'll win some. As tiresome as whining can be, it's the one way children express their desires. They will become articulate soon enough and if they still whine, like when they're an adult, I'll figure out something else to do then."
"Tell her you will not discuss it any further, until she speaks in a voice more appropriate for a request. Remember not to whine to her or talk `Baby talk'."
"Through our share of whining we have tried many methods. We talk about not being able to understand words spoken while whining and the need to stop whining before talking. We also don't reinforce this behavior - rather give some time out in their room to think why they are whining and when they change the behavior they may join everyone else again. (When they whine on sick days we are more lenient and realize they may need more personal time, hugs and rocking to work it out.)"
"We've used two approaches. The first is to ask her to repeat the request using a `happy face', we usually demonstrate, grossly exaggerating the facial expressions. She usually laughs and then will ask nicely for whatever it is she wanted. The second approach uses the `whiner' family from "Saturday Night Live". We ask if she's part of the Whiner Family, and we whine and usually we all end up laughing and no more whining."
"My 4 year old daughter tries whining to get her way. I've found that ignoring her & not responding until she talks like a big girl helps a lot. Also, I reward her with small toy, hair ribbons, etc., when she approaches me without whining."
"All children do whine to a point, but what to do,how to handle it. If a child is speaking, let's say 2 or older, I have learned that two things work well. #1. Let them know that you cannot understand them when they are whining and encourage them to repeat it in a clearer voice. #2. Ignore them while they whine, then as soon as they use an appropriate voice, give them attention and let them know how nice that sounds. I once worked with a five year old who whined constantly because his dad always gave into it at home. By applying the two suggestions mentioned above, he usually did very little whining by Friday, but came Monday it was back because it had been reinforced at home. After about 10 months he finally learned that at day care he could not and did not whine, but at home he did. So children really do learn from what we reinforce! I have a friend who put up a NO WHINING sign at home, and the children actually remind each other about that rule!
Under age 2 or when the child can't talk yet, you should still acknowledge his or her feelings. My son whines before dinner, so I let him know that I understand he's hungry and then I explain to him that I'm fixing him something to eat. This works 50% of the time depending on how hungry he is."
"When your child starts whining, ask him/her to repeat what she/he has said clearly, because mommy can't understand you. After awhile he'll stop whining to make sure you can understand him."
"At the moment it begins - no matter how young they are - I tell them `no whining', then I point to my ears and say `it hurts my ears'. They learn what they are doing is whining and it's not good. My 1 1/2 year old will point to her ears when I say `no whining'. It takes time for the connection but it works 75 - 80% of the time."
"Whining is something I tell our 3 children I don't allow. I also notice they whine to get my attention - if I listen to them from the start whining is usually avoided. Children need to feel important - even if it's asking for a drink of water. If you listen to adults you can hear us whine when we feel ignored too! Hmmmm."
"Try having the child repeat what she says in a more pleasant voice. Tell her `I can't hear you when you whine'. Don't respond to requests made in a whining voice. Give the child an example or model of how you want them to talk to you."
"Catch every occasion when there is no whining and affirm the child for that, eg. - `I appreciate it when I tell you no and you accept my answer' or `I like it when you ask for a drink so nicely'.
Whining frequently occurs when a child is interrupted in play, needs attention, and/or help with a task. If the child is interrupted while watching TV or playing, give them a 5 minute and then a 2 minute warning. Tell them what will be expected and set a timer so they can hear the ring or buzzer.
If the child needs attention sometimes it helps to simply ask, `Do you need some of my attention right now?'. If the child does and you can hold them, read to them, listen or play a game, do so. If you are in the middle of a task, set a timer and tell them in 5 or 10 minutes when the buzzer goes off you will give them some time. The best way though is to get into the habit of giving your child the first 15 minutes of the hour rather than the last.
Many times the tasks we ask our children to do can seem overwhelming. `Clean up your room' or even `Tie your shoes' can be frustrating when a child is tired or needs attention. Simply ask `Would you like me to help you?' If the child says yes and you help, the job gets done quickly, the child learns her needs are important and the whining stops.
( What advice would you most like to give about experiencing life with a new baby?"
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