When children don’t get their way, whining is often a last-ditch effort to get you to change your mind. Those long, high-pitched protests from your child can instantly raise the blood pressure of even the most patient guardian. Uncontrolled, these displays can spread stress through the entire family unit, causing disruptive behaviors in siblings and tension between adult members.
When a child whines, they are asking for attention. They need your help. For younger children and those with limited verbal skills, it can be difficult to clearly express a need or desire. When the squealing starts, it’s important to find the root cause of the problem.
Before you respond, try to figure out what your child is really trying to tell you. Ask closed-ended questions to clarify the situation.
Stay calm while you work with your child. Losing your patience will only escalate their response.
Even if you aren’t able to decipher the reason behind the whining, there are some simple yet effective ways to help calm your child and return peace to your home.
What is the number one reason why children whine? Because it works. According to neuroscientists, we are genetically programmed to respond to certain distress tones from our young ones. When those loud, keening noises hit our ears, we will do almost anything to stop them. Children know this, and will use it to their advantage.
It’s important to stand your ground when confronted with a demanding child. If you tell your child he can’t have a cookie but change your mind in response to his whining, you lose authority. This can lead to other disrespectful or defiant behaviors. Be firm but gentle when denying a request that goes against established family rules.
In the fight against whining, calm attention and genuine affection are your best allies.
Article Courtesy of Stepping Forward Counseling Center
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