Why Do Kids Constantly Whine?
Why do kids whine before bed, whine to get something they want, or just plain old whine as a from of talking? Whining is one of the most frustrating things that parents cope with. Sometimes it feels like no matter what they do, their kids won’t stop whining. Leaving parents exhausted, annoyed and unhappy with daily parenting.
Why DO Some Kids Whine So Darn Much?
Kids will whine when they want something, need something, are over-tired, over-hungry, or are not satisfied with what’s going on. Whining is a tactic that often WORKS for your kids.
Kids Will Only Do What Works For Them
Children will continue to do behaviours that work for them. What does this mean? It means that if your child whines and you respond in ANY way, it works for them. Kids will take any type of attention they can get, whether that be positive or negative. If you respond to your child’s whining with “I said, you stop that whining or you’re going to straight to bed. Did you hear me? I said, stop that whining.” This repetitive conversation and reacting to their whining, is actually showing your kids that whining will give them a giant dose of attention-otherwise known as Undue Attention according to Jane Nelson.
What is undue attention? Undue attention refers to the attention your child gets during times where attention is not needed. Such as when they are whining or exhibiting other negative behaviours. Our actions and lack of follow through, will teach our kids that certain behaviours will work for them. If they whine longer and cry harder, we will react and give them lots of undue attention. The attention may be negative, but like we mentioned above, they will take any type of attention they can get. If we stop giving them undue attention when they whine, they will begin to learn that whining will not get them what they want or need.
Power And Attention Needs
Our kids have two main emotional goals and that is to get adequate amounts of power and attention daily. If we don’t meet this quota proactively, in positive ways, our kids will search to have these needs met. This typically manifests in whining, refusing to cooperate, back-talking, tantrums and more. Your child’s choice of behavior is goal-oriented. They are not whining just because. They are actually whining to try and get their emotional needs met. To avoid these behaviours we need to implement simple and easy parenting solutions to fill their daily doses of power and attention. To learn more on how to start filling your child’s power and attention buckets book your consult via phone with me today.
4 Steps To Decrease Whining
- First Connect: Connect with your kids in a positive way to be one step ahead of whining!
- Don’t React: Avoid reacting and act totally unamused. You will show zero emotional response to the whining whatsoever. Show them that you are not interested in that behaviour. Do this by remaining totally matter of fact.
- Respond Once: Clearly and calmly state, “I see that you are upset. I would be happy to discuss with you what you need when you are all done whining.” Then you walk away and let him/her finish whatever tantrum, whining fit or mess they are in. This is not punishment. You have validated their feelings and then walk away, showing them that you will not give attention while they whine.
- Follow Through: If you said that you will chat with your child once they are finished whining, then you must follow through and not respond anymore until they are finished whining. As soon as you respond again, (again and again) you are once again teaching your child that his/her behaviour choice will give them attention. Walk away and follow through to teach your kids to trust that you mean what you say and say what you mean.
You don’t have to listen to whining all day and all night. You can make positive changes and it won’t take long. Contact me to learn how to download your complete set of parenting tools for any battle you may be struggling with. “Parenting Doesn’t Have To Be That Way” is your step by step guide to help you solve each problem that arises and all at your own pace.
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