I was told “oh you’ll have to deal with rough-housing and wrestling, but at least you won’t have constant whining!”
Wrong. So wrong.
The whining is never-ending around here. And it is whining about everything you could think of! Wanting certain toys, hunger or thirst, not getting their way...the list goes on.
I was listening to a podcast episode about whining on “what Fresh Hell: Laughing in the Face of Motherhood” and Amy mentioned a study that was done that showed whining as being the worst distraction for adults trying to complete a set of math problems—worse than a baby crying or even the screeching of a table saw! That is some power that these kids hold!
It has seemingly been worse the more that we’ve been stuck at home and constantly around each other through the pandemic! I find myself losing it right away before breakfast is even on the table.
So here are a few ideas that I got from the podcast and through others advice that I’m going to try implementing:
- Acknowledge Feelings (but don’t necessarily validate them): say “I know you’re frustrated that it isn’t your turn for that toy”. However, don’t coddle or make the whining ok. Just explain that you hear them.
- Don’t Yell “Stop Whining”--(it accomplishes nothing): While it feels really good for the few seconds it takes to yell, usually this only fuels the fire. I need to try to stop letting my own frustration get the better of me and go to the other options of responding listed here.
- Positive Reinforcement: recognize when they don’t whine and say “I love how you just asked me in your own, strong voice!”
As frustrating as listening to the sound of whining is, I am really going to try to focus on doing these three things. I’ll keep you posted each week on how my efforts fared!
Do you have any tips on dealing with whiny kids? Share them in the comments!