All children whine. It’s important that you tackle in a way that ensures that he doesn’t become an adult who whines to get what he wants. As difficult as it is to believe (especially when you’re frustrated), whining is a form of communication, and can be a sign of distress. An “I want to eat my cookie nowww” might say a lot more than your little one just wanting cookie, he might be calling for your attention. We give you some tips on how to deal with all that whining.
- Pay attention the first time
One of the reasons why whining behaviour starts is because children might have learnt that asking for things in a nice and polite way doesn’t work. So the asking gets more dramatic and louder in volume, and that’s bound to grab your attention for sure. Even if you’re busy or can’t attend to your child at a particular moment when he asks for something, e.g. if you’re on the phone or rushing about doing chores, let him know to wait, and that you will get back to his request shortly.
- Respond calmly
We know how hard this can be. Tell your child that you don’t like his behaviour, and show him how he should be speaking and behaving instead. “If you want to play, say it like ________.” Giving in to his request immediately might be the simplest way to deal with the situation, but it tells him that his whining works. Then you’ll be faced with a child who whines to get his way in every situation.
- Find out underlying reasons
Sometimes he might really just be seeking your attention, but if it happens too often, it’s time to figure out what the real deal is. If he whines about cleaning his room, could it be because he feels that it’s unfair that he has to do chores while his siblings don’t? If he whines about doing his homework, could he be demoralised about school in general? Whining can be symptomatic of other issues and understanding your child’s behaviour might be the key to managing it.
- Connect with your child
Spend time doing things together, simple activities like cooking, going to the supermarket, colouring, etc. It’s important to spend some time, just the two of you. This can help the two of you be more in tuned with the other’s moods, and help your child see that you love him, and love spending time with him, even if at times you get really busy. See if this helps with the attention-seeking behaviour.
What are some ways you deal with your child’s whining? Share them with other mums in our comments section!