Limit Whining and Teach Better Communication

"I dooooon’t waaaaaaaaaant toooooooooo!"

It's irritating, it's frustrating and it gets on your nerves.

Though it's obnoxious, whining is actually a way your child gets your attention. And, like other habits, you can nip it in the bud early with a few simple strategies. You can teach your child there are other appropriate, effective forms of communicating with you. Good communication is one of the foundations of good child safety.

One way is to limit the situations that trigger it. Avoid extra errands when the kids are hungry. Limit or eliminate involvement in a frustrating game or project prior to bedtime. Pay attention when your child is talking to you. Whining is a reaction when a child feels you aren't giving them your full attention. Counter whining with praise for their choosing talking in a normal and understandable voice that allows you to fully understand what they are saying to you.

When the whining begins, stay calm. Keep your response simple, calm and neutral. Ask your child to repeat the request in a normal tone. Staying calm, yet firm and in charge will more often stop the whining before it escalates. Make sure there are limits set for whining.

Once a limit has been set, follow through. It's imperative that both parents are on board with this approach and any limits set. Both must fully follow through when the whining rule has been violated.

If you have an older child that's developing a whining habit, suggest they come up with a solution to their perceived boredom or other voiced problem on their own. If you suggest possible alternatives, it might just prolong the child's whining.

Also, be aware, sometimes whining can be the result of trauma and trouble in their life. A divorce, serious family illness or problems at school may be at the root. Additional positive attention and quality one-on-one time may be just the medicine your child needs at a time like this. Your pediatrician can also suggest alternatives to curb whining should the positive attention and disciplinary actions be ineffective.

When the whining is curbed and replaced with clearer verbal communication between you and your child you are setting the stage for better safety for them for their lifetime. They need to be able to effectively tell responsible adults, such as you, teachers or police, what is or has occurred that happens to them. By learning to stay calm and talk clearly instead of whining is a huge step in that direction.

Author's Bio: 

Joyce Jackson is a #1 International bestselling author, child safety expert, speaker and trainer. For more information see Keeping Kids Safe and The Belly Brain Podcasts and eChild Safety