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Monday, April 13, 2009

Whining...My Worst Enemy

My children are in a whiny phase at the same time and I feel like sticking needles in my ears all the time. It's kind of like listening to nails on a chalk board...ooh I just got the chills, yuck! Anyways, that is how I feel about whining and yet I can't get away from it. My son whines when he wakes up, when he goes to sleep, when he has to eat, when he has to move, when he has to share, when he has to take a bath etc. My daughter whines whenever she doesn't get her way which is always. Picture listening to nails on a chalk board right next to your ear all day long and you will get a glimpse into my world. I need an instant remedy NOW, you know like hot sauce on the thumb of a thumb sucker, or soap on the tongue of a potty mouth? I need a creative solution to remedy this horrible noise coming from my offspring. Any suggestions?

1 comment:

Lauren said...

All kids go through whiny phases so trust me, you're not alone in feeling this way. My kids are teenagers now and I can tell you honestly - those days will pass faster than you think.

In the meantime, I'd suggest a couple things -- first off -- dog training. Ignore the bad behavior (i.e. whining) and praise the good. I guarantee your kids WANT to make you happy -- so when they are acting the way that you want them to -- let them know how much you appreciate them being good. Eventually they'll get in the habit of doing the things that please you.

I think sometimes kids (and grown ups) don't even hear themselves whining. It's our nature to point out the bad -- but it's really equally important to celebrate all the good (and I'm sure there's plenty) so that kids know what is considered good/acceptable behavior.

Another thought - set expectations. From the time our kids were REALLY little, we would let them know how we expected them to behave when we went to church, went out to eat, went to a friend's house. We also gave them forewarning before bedtime and bathtime so that the had time to get used to the idea vs. getting whisked away from their toys unexpectedly. When we went out anywhere, before we even got out of the car they knew what we expected. We would thank them early and often for their good behavior. Only once did we have to leave because someone wouldn't play nice (which included no whining).

And finally...why not let them have their way sometimes. Not because they're whining about it...but because they're not. Kids are people too -- they'll learn respect because you treat them with respect. Sometimes it's better for a parent to change their expectations, rather than always asking the kids to do what we want. I'm not talking about anything major here...but it's not too early to start thinking about picking your battles. There's not a whole lot that is worth stressing over...especially if being flexible means less nails on the chalkboard.

I'm really really proud of my kids and the relationship my husband and I have with them. There were definitely many days when I thought I was going to lose my mind...but like I said, it all goes really quickly.

Good luck.

P.S. Same strategies apply to pesky spouses. :)