Episode 79 is inspired by this article written by Patty Wipfler.
Whining children are communicating important information – usually they feel powerless, or they feel alone.
It often happens shortly after being disconnected to the parent or caregiver. Things like cooking dinner, talking to a friend, or anything where they are not paid attention to can bring it on.
Once they feel disconnected, small things can feel big: getting dressed, brushing teeth, having to say goodbye. They would rather continue what they are currently doing.
Whining Children have real needs – They must feel connected to you. When they don’t, their behavior goes wacky.
Whining children have feeling that won’t be rational – The feelings can come up even at the end of playing…and they can be from the day before or another time.
Whining children aren’t trying to manipulate you – He’s just telling you he needs help. Picture him saying “I want a cookie” but meaning “please say no. I need a good cry with your arms around me.
Help your child connect again – They need the emotional outlet before they get a sense you are on their side. After the tantrum, laughter, scream, they can take charge again.
Try filling your child’s request once – You can’t be sure it will solve the issue if it’s about connecting, but worth a shot. help them once. Get their toy, help them get dressed, whatever it is.
If he’s not satisfied, offer closeness and a clear limit. Say no with a big smile and even a kiss on the cheek. If they persist, do it again with more affection. At some point the affection your offering will move them toward laughter or tanturm and either are good for them. Sometimes they just need to cry or have the tantrum and then will feel closer again.
If you can’t be playful, be attentive – Be clear on the no, make eye contact, and make contact if possible.
Allow for laughter, tantrums, or tears for as long as you have time and patience – They are working through something, go with it. Let them finish.
Listening time can help you keep perspective when whining begins – We feel like we are helpless or being manipulated. Utilize mental preparation.
Here is another article that discusses some quick and dirty answers for when kids whine.
Quick and dirty answers:
1. Don’t let the whining bother you
2. Teach your child the difference between asking nicely and whining. – Explain good voice versus whining voice. Maybe even record them and play it back
3. Provide positive re-inforcement – Thank you for using a normal voice
4. Be patient, hang in there