Dealing with a whining child is no easy task. One on hand, you can’t take it any more, but on the other, you don’t want to reward this bad behavior by giving in. Hitting your breaking point? Here are a few quick tips to put all the whining to a stop.
1. Be mindful of your reaction
Your child relies on your reaction. Keep a neutral face and tell your child you won’t respond if they whine, but you’ll listen if they use a nicer tone. Use phrases like “I can’t understand you when you use that voice.”
2. Call attention to their tone
It’s quite possible your child doesn’t even realize he or she is whining (or even understand what that means). One solution is to verbalize what a whiny voice and a nice voice sound like so they can hear the difference. You can even record them during their whine and during their politeness. Plus, it’s helpful when they have a model to follow.
3. Don't be afraid to hand out the praise (when it's earned)
When your child learns how to ask for things politely, acknowledge and thank them for their politeness before doing what they asked. Giving context as to why this tone is good will be helpful for them to understand and will give them a sense of doing something right.
4. Try to figure out why they are whining
Does your son whine in the car because he’s bored? Pack extra books or activity sets. Is your daughter complaining because she didn’t get to have ice cream? Find a way to compromise without completely giving in (“We’ll get ice cream tomorrow if you put away your toys.”). It’s important to take note of the reason for their behavior so you can find solutions to prevent it from happening in the first place.
5. Taking things away isn't always healthy
Taking away the iPad or TV privileges doesn’t aid in actually teaching your child how to improve. Instead of using their enjoyments as weapons, use the opportunity to teach them how to behave differently. Lead by example, talk them through what made you upset, and show them how they can improve.
6. Keep things consistent
This goes for both you and your partner. Sometimes children whine because they are tired or hungry. Try to keep your child on the same sleeping and feeding schedule as much as you can. Also, it’s important to always make sure your child knows you’re there to listen to them before a meltdown begins.