A challenge may confront your pre-schooler and at times may become a challenge to you – that is how to get an adult’s attention. As we all know, the caretaker/adult provides almost everything to young children – food, drink, care, toys, transportation, and attention. So, the day comes, and you hear a sound, a whine coming from your child. This sound may occur when your child feels frustrated, powerless and the tones become higher and higher until the tones get someone’s attention. These tones come about when the child wants/needs something and the child has learned this whine brings results.
When the child realizes realizes the whining does not work, most children give it up. However, if results are gained and attention is achieved after a whining episode, you will find the child will begin the next request with a whine.
Tips to Eliminate Negative Behavior – Whining
*Define whining to your child – be certain the child understands what you mean by whining. Label it to the child when you hear it- ask child to use a regular, polite voice. If necessary, play act what is whining and explain to child that whining makes people stop listening to your wants.
*Identify problem behind whining. Is child scared, lonely, sad, sick, hungry, thirsty, uncomfortable? – try to resolve the whines.
*What is your policy on whining – when whining you cannot understand what child wants – speak clearly and in a grownup voice.
*Humor it – take that whine and throw it out the window in a playful manner (be sure child doesn’t think you are making fun of her/him).
*Ignore it – do not make eye contact, keep your expressions normal, give no verbal response – STAY CALM.
*Move it – move child in another room or bring child home if whining occurs and gets worse – check out concern first.
*Praise, praise – thank child and praise child for now talking like a “big kid” or older child – then, if appropriate, give your child what he/she wants.
*Remember – respond to child – I can’t understand you when you talk like that. Please use your normal voice and I’ll be happy to listen to what you are saying. Be carefree when whining becomes consistent and keep calm.
Reference: Whining: When it Happens and What to do About it, Beth Haiken/Baby Center, 2011
EASTER GREAT READS:
Little Bunny, Baros Ed., Happy Books, 2012, Ages 1-4
(A slim book shaped like a bunny that simply tells one all about bunnies.)
Little Duckling, Baros Ed., Happy Books, 2012, Ages 1-4
(A slip book shaped like a duckling that simply tells one all about ducklings.)
Mouse’s First Spring, Lauren Thompson, Simon and Schuster, 2012
(Board book – Mouse and Momma head outside and discover spring is blooming all around them – classic board book.)