how do you deal with a whining kid? It’s one thing to handle it at home. You can just simply discipline them without the scrutiny of the public eye. What then if you’re in the mall, getting groceries or having a meal out?
If you’re a new parent you probably didn’t get much chance to practice before experiencing the first meltdown in public. We tracked down six easy to remember common sense tips to help you get through it easily.
Tips to Deal with a Whining Kid
1“Nip It in the Bud”
According to doctors, kids whine because of two things. They want your attention or they don’t get what they want. So, to avoid whining, we should not wait until it’s too late to acknowledge.
It’s important to respond to that first bid for attention if you can. If you are on the phone or in the middle of a conversation, make eye contact with your child and put a finger up, so she knows you’ll be with her in a minute. Then give your child your attention as soon as you can politely do so. – Laurel Schultz, MD
Give them your attention as soon as you can and let them know calmly if you’re going to need a minute or two. Kids can be very demanding especially over your attention.
2Find Out Their Triggers
Everybody has triggers. For example, I tend to get cranky when I’m hungry and, of course, when it’s that time of the month. My baby cousin gets cranky when she’s too hot and starts whining.
Observe and identify what your kid’s triggers are. It could be hunger, discomfort or sleepiness. For instance, you can prevent a hunger-triggered whining by including a mid-morning snack. Or a midday nap for the sleepy ones. A whining kid is not innate. You can prevent it and all you need to do is find out what triggers it.
3Call Them Out on It
Ignoring a whining kid at home is totally okay. When you’re out in public, you can’t ignore them. Because it’s bound to reach the height, it will be a disturbance and embarrass you and your child. So, before that happens, call your kid out the moment you see the signs they’re about to throw a fit.
Set rules before you leave the house and remind them about these rules when they start acting up. Don’t be afraid to reprimand them, but always be calm and assertive.
The longer you let your child complain, the more determined she’ll become to get her way. Instead, help your child understand that her whining voice is very hard to listen to. You can say, “I can’t understand you when you whine. If you want to tell me how you feel, then I need you to use your regular voice.” – Rene Hackney, Ph.D.
4Reward Good Behavior
A reward system has always worked for me and my students when I was still teaching. I made a weekly chart where I put a gold star if for good behavior on a daily basis. If they complete the week with all gold stars, I give them a gift – toys, ice cream or candies.
You can do the same for you kids. Let them know that whining will not get them a gold star. Give them 3 chances before they completely lose the star. If they have an all out meltdown for no reason, they automatically lose the gold star.
If you’re out on an errand with them, strike a deal: good behavior = an ice cream.
5Be Firm but Open to Compromise
When you tell them no, don’t say it in a way that they would feel like you’re depriving them. Rather than an outright no, lead them up to a compromise that’s favorable for both of you.
For instance, he wants one toy so badly, but you know he doesn’t need it. Acknowledge his desire for it, then offer a compromise as to how he can obtain it. Offer to put it on his Christmas wish list, birthday list or put away a portion of his allowance towards it. Not only will this be a challenge they would enjoy, but it will also teach them the value of patience and importance of saving money.
Remember to do this before he reaches a full blown tantrum. Compromising doesn’t make you a pushover. It makes you smart.
Kids will be kids no matter how hard we try to reverse that. They will want to play longer, stay up later and eat more candies.
When they start to whine, that would be the best time to meet them halfway. Make them understand that they won’t get what they want by whining. Then, have them ask nicely. When they do, compromise. Say they can stay for another five more minutes and then it’s time to go home. Or say yes to one more story then it’s bedtime right away.
This will help them remember that reasoning is better than whining.
In other words
There’s no direct solution to dealing with a whining kid. There are kids who aren’t just whiners. If your child is one, remember that you need to extend more patience to them because getting angry will only aggravate their temper.
No matter how upset you get, stay as calm as you can be. They’re kids and they don’t know any better. The main point here is to find the best method that works. If you notice it doesn’t work the first few times, move on to the next tip. Don’t try to shove it down their throat. Otherwise, they will just regress.
Parenting is hard, but because we love our kids, it makes it all worth it.
Do you have any tips on dealing with a whining? Share your secrets! Hit us up with a comment!