Whining is one of those kid things that really get on a dad’s nerves.
Whining, as you may remember from your childhood days, is just one tactic of negotiation. If a child knows that he can break you down by applying a little aural pressure, you are like putty in his hands. It’s up to you to teach him that you are not his weak little plaything.
If you’re suddenly noticing it, it’s likely that it’s something your child has been doing for a while. And, it’s become a habit. He or she may not want to whine all the time any more than you want to listen to it.
Before you plug in the earplugs, there are some things you can do to break the habit.
- Take responsibility. Whining sometimes is the by-product of parents listening behavior. Make sure you’re not feeding on the whining by provoking your child to do whatever it takes to get your attention. Have you actually listened to your child to determine whether what he or she is asking for is indeed reasonable?
- Notice when whining occurs. Realize that you can start to have an effect on it by choosing how you respond.
- Draw attention to the whining. Your child might not even realize he or she is whining. Funny imitations of the whining, ignoring the whining until your child speaks in a normal voice, or asking the child directly if she hears herself whining are all appropriate tactics.
- Make sure your child knows to ask politely for what she wants. Ask her to look at you and speak plainly
- Reward “non-whining” by noticing when it’s not there.