Whining children nagging you all the time? Read on for tips on how to reduce the whining.
It is natural for children of all ages to whine. From a toddler to a four-year-old, whining can be a result of many things. Here are few points to ponder why your child may be whining and how to prevent it in the future. The difference between whining and crying is, whining is considered to be a pestering habitual complaining while crying is when the tears flow in anguish.
Whining in Children
Toddlers may whine as a reflection of an overall miserable mood. The cause of misery can vary from toddler to toddler and from situation to situation. Some common causes that may lead to a toddler starting to whine are hunger, illness, or just fatigue. Whining can be tiring for parents and it is easy to give in to demands just to stop the irritating nagging.
Toddlers tend to whine because they do not understand their own feelings and are unable to express them. This inability to express themselves or get what they desire leads to pent-up frustrations being vented out as whines.
A child may whine because he feels that no one is listening to him and that his needs are going unnoticed. Whining could also merely be some form of imitating behaviour. As a child grows older, the way he whines changes. A three or four-year-old may whine because he has had success getting his demands met by whining as a toddler. A five or six-year-old, on the other hand, may not whine in the traditional sense, but may constantly question your decisions.
Understanding Your Child's Frustration
Toddlers and children may whine or start to cry as an expression of their incommunicable fears. As a parent, try to understand what exactly your child is afraid of. The fear could be of something physical, imagined, or an outcome of a situation. For example, your child may be afraid of dogs, monsters under the bed, or getting hurt when learning to ride a bike. A child bursting into tears can also be a manifestation of anxiety that the child feels of being separated from his parents or being left with a stranger. It is also a sign that your child wants to spend more time with you. Crying is also a natural way for the child to vent his frustration when he is unable to cope or do what he wants.
Preventing Your Child from Whining
In order to teach your child not to whine it is important to ensure that your child first understands what whining is. To do this you need to point out to your child when he is whining. Ask your child to use his usual tone of voice. If he doesn't realise the difference, mimic the difference to him. Mimicking the difference can be done by using your child's toy dolls or action figures, or by involving him in a role-playing activity. Use a bit of humour to get the message across. It is important to ensure that your child does not feel that you are mocking him as it will only enrage him further. The focus should be on making your child understand how irritating people find whining to be.
Reinforce positive actions. Give your child some attention. Whining is a tactic that pre-schoolers use to get your undivided attention. It is best to give your child attention when he asks politely as it will set a precedent for future conversations and events. However, it is not necessary and may not be possible to immediately do so all the time. If you are preoccupied with an urgent matter, tell your child to give you some time. For example, tell your child that you will solve his problem after fifteen minutes or whatever rough estimate you can make of when you will be free to help him. Do not give a vague time estimate like later and remember to keep the time promised.
Children are sometimes unable to convey their feelings in words, which results in them breaking down and resorting to whining. Try to open up a dialogue with your child. Ask him what is bothering him and causing him distress. For example, you may ask your child, "Are you upset because you cannot go out and play cricket right now?"
It is important for a parent to respond in the same manner consistently. This will ensure that your child does not receive mixed signals. He will realise the difference between whining and asking nicely. When you are communicating with your child while he is whining ensure that your body language remains neutral. Even your positive response to your child whenever he asks nicely needs to be consistent. Never give in to your child's whining in public or wherever you are. If you allow your child to get away with it once you can rest assured that he will try it again in the future.