Here are seven steps that you can take to Stop the Whining! and get your children asking for things in a way that you desire.
STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING
If you are serious about limiting the whining, you need to stop what you’re doing and focus on your child and give them attention. Listen to what they have to say.
Boys will often talk in a very gruff tone, while girls will speak with elevated voice. Encourage them to speak so that they know they are being heard.
However, you need to help them separate the way they are speaking (their whining) from their request.
DESCRIBE THE CORRECT WAY OF ASKING
Firstly, address the method they are using to ask for things the whining. You may say something like, Jacob, you don’t need to whine when asking for a biscuit.
Then you demonstrate the way that you want your child to ask for things. For instance, Excuse me, mommy, biscuit please, would suffice.
This will take repetition so as to reinforce the correct technique for asking and is aimed at reducing the whining
You may have to remind your child from time to time about the magic word needed when asking for things.
Or you may say Pardon? to jolt their thinking or even stare back at them with raised eyebrows and wait for their response.
PRAISE YOUR CHILD FOR SPEAKING NICELY
When your child remembers the way to ask for things in a nice manner, praise them! Say, That was a beautiful way of asking.
This reinforces that they are following the correct method. It is easy to forget that kids take time to learn how to ask for things correctly, however when they don’t have to be reminded then this is a time to lavish on them exceptional praise and encouragement.
IS THE CHILDS REQUEST REASONABLE?
When training children to request things in a nice manner, and they achieve that, then it is recommended that you comply with their request.
Hold it. What if your child is asking for food, and dinner is only five minutes away from being served?
If the aim is to stop whining behavior and get your child trained to speak nicely, then give them some food, but in a very small amount. The key is to focus on how the request is formed, whether it is appropriate or not. If so, comply with their request.
WHAT TO DO IF WHINING CONTINUES?
Children know instinctively that they can get their way by whining. So if whining continues you will need to go back to the original method that you want them to use for asking for things.
Say again, Jacob, you don’t need to whine when asking for a biscuit. This informs your child of the inappropriate behavior.
Then enforce your desired method of asking for things, Jacob says, Excuse me mommy, biscuit, please.
WHAT TO DO IF THE CHILD PROTESTS?
If the whining behavior continues, you need to describe their undesirable behavior to them calmly, but firmly.
This is the time to take action. Describe what you are doing so that they understand why you are doing it.
In relation to the biscuits, you may say, OK Jacob, if you aren’t able to ask nicely then the biscuits go away for ten minutes. Now try again.
You will need to follow through on your action to demonstrate that you mean what you say else next time your child will know that whining is a way to get what they want, and mommy doesn’t really mean to threaten.
WHAT TO DO IF THE CHILD BECOMES AGGRESSIVE?
Remember to describe the whining behavior, as well as the correct method of asking for things. Then place them in quiet time for 2 minutes.
Placing them on a chair or on a mat is ideal for this. Let them out of quiet time once their behavior has quieted down.
Then you may want to go over the nice way of asking for things before encouraging them to ask again.
If your child is becoming aggressive and refuses to sit in quiet time, then you will need to implement a time out strategy.
Following the lead of super-nanny, you will need to put them into time out for a short period of time – calculated as 1 minute more than the age of your child.
So if your child is 4 years old, then place them in time out for 5 minutes. If the behavior continues, you will need to learn the technique for dealing with temper tantrums.
Remember that by keeping your cool you will be able to demonstrate the desired method of asking for things, and help them to stop the whining!