How to Unteach Your Child to Whine for No Reason
Whining children can drive any parent crazy. But your kid might not be annoying you deliberately. They might just not have enough words to describe how they feel or what they want. And whimpering is a sure thing when it comes to grabbing your attention. It`s a learned habit, and it needs to be unlearned.
We at Bright Side want to spare the nerves of any poor parents who are dealing with this. So here`s how you can make your kid stop whining all the time.
Don`t get frustrated.
Don`t show that it bothers you when your kid starts whining. Otherwise they`ll see that their behavior made you pay attention to them, and they`ll keep doing it every time. Instead, explain to them that you can`t understand what they want, so they need to calm down and use words. Otherwise you`ll ignore them.
You can also pick a warning sign together for them to remember that there`s a new rule. For example, if your child starts whining, you can pull on your ear and not respond. You can even leave the room so that they understand that this kind of behavior won`t be tolerated.
Make sure your child knows how to ask nicely.
Some kids may not understand that whimpering is not the right way to show their emotions and needs. They want to complain or voice their opinion, and whining seems like a good way to express all of these things. And they might not realize that it sounds annoying or irritating. That`s why it`s important to explain the difference between how your kid usually does it and how it should be done.
For example, you could record them while they`re behaving politely and when they whine. Or you could try describing what you hear and how you feel when they whine. It`ll help them understand how they sound and what kind of behavior is better.
Compliment your kid when they use their normal voice.
Kids are used to being reprimanded. So thanking them for being nice and polite can help reinforce positive behavior. They`ll see that the way they asked for something didn`t make you mad, and they might decide to keep being nice. You can even come up with a reward system that`ll help them build on this habit.
Make your kid understand that there will be consequences.
Your child should understand that their actions have consequences. So don`t try to be nice with them when they`re whimpering or to continuously ask them to please stop. Instead, talk to them about what will happen if they start whining again. You might put them in time-out, for example.
Then, if they forget about this rule or disregard it next time, ask them to stop whining just once. After that, the punishment for misbehaving should come right away.
Teach your child how to use words.
Because sometimes it`s just easier to be emotional than use your words, kids opt for whining. Or they might not have enough words to describe what they want. You can identify what your child usually whines about, e.g. they do it because they`re hungry, tired, or because they`re upset about something, and discuss these topics with them. Teach them how to express what they feel with words rather than by crying.
How do you react when your child starts whining? Have you been able to unteach them this habit? How did you do it? We`d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!