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How to Stop Older Kids From Whining
Maybe you didn't quite nip out that whining when your kids were younger, or maybe it's just the way things go, but older kids do their share of whining too.
Why Do They Whine?
It's no secret that whining is universal. We parents do it often enough.
Why do I always have to do the dishes?
Can't you pick up your backpack this once?
Do I have to go to work today?
We're all a little spoiled and when we get hungry or tired, it spills out. Ask a kid to do something he doesn't feel like doing and you'll open the floodgates of whiningyou're your child may just be whining out of boredom. Whatever the reason, how you react is the determining factor on whether or not the whining continues.
Stop That Whining!
By the time your child is in elementary school, he's probably got whining down to an art form. Depending on how you handled earlier episodes, he'll either be whining all the time, or only when he really wants something. I'm convinced there is no such thing as a whine-free child, as there are no non-whining adults. It's all a matter of degree. You and your child negotiate just how much whining you can handle.
It takes patience to correct whining, but consistency is your best bet. Just as with a toddler, a perfectly reasonable response is difficult to argue.
I can't understand you when you whine. Please speak in a normal voice.
Unlike toddlers, older kids know when they're whining. And they've figured out your limits. They will push just beyond whatever you've set before to try to get what they want. This isn't particularly manipulative behavior, it's kids' stuff - human nature. Your child needs boundaries and it's your job to create them.
Stand Your Ground
There are all sorts of ways to discourage whining. You can use a ‘time out' to show the child how whining results in isolation. Maybe you want a penalty such as losing a favorite toy for a specified period of time. Some parents have their child put money into a "whiny jar". You are the only one who knows your child's "currency". In other words, get him where it hurts!
The gold is in the follow-through. In other words, talk is cheap and consistency is key. If you say you can't understand the child, but then you comply with the whiny request you're defeated. Keep repeating your wishes until the child speaks in a normal tone. You will only have to go over and over it the first few times. Once the child understands you're serious, she will adjust - if you're lucky. The younger you start the better.
Ignoring a whining child is not going to scar her for life. If the request or complaint were truly urgent she'd be screaming instead of whining! You can always send her to her room. Stand up for yourself and just say no to whining!
Reinforce the Positive
We cannot praise our children too much as long as it is genuine. Your praise should reinforce the behaviors you want repeated. Asking for something in a pleasant tone of voice is something that will serve your child forever. Make sure you notice the things he's doing right and you're sure to be rewarded with more of it.