Whining kids were my expertise since I had five kids close together, and three in diapers at once. Are you a mom in need of some good advice on how to get your kids to stop whining? Well, this mama used to be in your shoes.
Recently a young mom messaged me with this question:
My son and daughter are both screamers. He is the younger of the two and is significantly worse in this area. My daughter has improved since getting older. But he often tried to steal toys and it ends in a screaming match. Any suggestions on how to stop the screaming?-frustrated mom
Whining Kids Tip #1: Nip The Bullying Quickly.
Children will try to establish their significance in the world, resulting in bullying as a typical behaviour, especially in small kids. When toddlers realize they are much smaller and want something, they will resort to biting, screaming, wrestling and bullying to win the fight with an older child.
Never allow the child who is taking toys or possessions from another child
The real world doesn’t work this way. We don’t go over to our neighbour’s house and take their lawnmower and shove them when they say, “no.” Our neighbour also doesn’t have to share if he doesn’t want to.
Not giving in to the toy-snatching toddler will also help cut down on the screaming of the child that has been robbed. Give the toy back to the child who had it first, and give a different toy to the toddler who is too young to understand yet.
What can you do to teach the older child ( age three and up) who steals toys:
- Give them a time out (1 minute per year of age)
2. A chore they don’t like. (make sure this isn’t a chore you want them to like in the future, like dishes.)
3. Tell them they can’t play with that
Whining Kids Tip #2: Mom Needs To Keep Her Voice Down
It seems the only way I can get the screaming to stop is to yell louder than the kids. Which isn’t what I want to do. Or who I want to be.-Mom of toddlers
I think most mothers can relate to this mom.
When we don’t know how to break up the fights, sometimes the easiest thing to do, especially if we are on the couch nursing a baby, is to yell.
I remember reading about a student years ago, who said he had a school teacher who would stand on top of her desk and yell at the class when she had had enough. The students eventually realized they didn’t have to stop horsing around until she was on top of the desk screaming.
I heard of another teacher who drew a skull and bones up in the corner of her chalkboard and told her class quietly and calmly. “If you do not listen to me, your name goes under that skull. If you get your name under there three times, believe me, you do not want to find out what will happen to you. “
Whenever she saw a child misbehaving, she quietly wrote their name under the skull. The student telling the story said no child ever got their name down three times and the classroom was quiet, and orderly.
Now, I realize today; a teacher most likely is not allowed to do that. But back in the day, she had found a way to keep her class in order, without ever disciplining anyone or yelling. The student said everyone loved this teacher.
If you never raise your voice but discipline the children quietly and calmly, your children will listen for mom’s very serious, quiet voice. Use this voice as much as possible when you want their attention.
Train your kids to respond to the voice you like using the most. Which I’m assuming isn’t your yelling voice.
Save yelling for when your kids are in danger or the house is on fire.
Whining Kids tip #3: Ignore the Whining.
I had one child who whined A LOT; over everything. It was my fault since I had trained him to think he could get a response out of me. Finally, I had had enough one day and realized we needed the whining to stop, or I was going to lose my mind.
I came up with an action plan. Every time he came to me to whine over insignificant things, I turned my back to him and said:
Go upstairs and whine at your bedroom wall. Come back when you’re ready to talk to me calmly.
Believe it not; this worked beautifully and quickly. Within a couple of weeks, whenever my son needed or wanted something, he would come and ask calmly.
We don’t want to give a positive reaction to negative behaviors.
Whining Kids Tip #4. Sometimes a Child Needs “Mommy and Me” Time.
You may have noticed if you have more than one child, that when you had a new baby, the older child became whinier. Since I had five kids in seven years, I would say each of our kids went through this after I had a new baby.
Being kicked out of the role of “baby of the family” can lead to increased negative behaviours since mom is now distracted by the new family member.
This naturally happens.
A new baby requires a lot of our time and attention, and we can’t really change that. But we can make an extra effort to give the older kids some snuggles and hugs. Read a book together, or play a game when the baby is being quiet or sleeping.
If your child’s whining increases after a new baby, discipline may not be what they need. A little bit of “mommy and me” time can turn them around.
I realized a month after my fourth baby was born, that I hadn’t put my third child on my lap for a snuggle in weeks. Devyn had formerly been the baby. N
Whining Kids Tip #5. There could be a medical issue causing your child to be unhappy.
When children are too young to talk, their only form of communication is their voice. And if they can’t tell you with words, they will communicate through crying.
My oldest and youngest were very fussy babies and toddlers. Eventually, we found out both children had food intolerances. When we changed their diets, this helped turn whining kids into happy ones. Learn more about food intolerance: Food Allergy Vs Food Intolerance: What’s The Difference?
If you’ve tried everything you can think of to help your child overcome being fussy and whiny and nothing is working, seek out your doctors help. There could be a medical problem causing your child’s constant crying.
Whining Kids Tip #6. Praise Your Child’s Good Behavior.
Anything positive actions your child does, that you want to see more of, praise these behaviours:
Wow, Johnny, I love the way you asked your sister nicely to share the toy.
Suzie, I haven’t heard you scream once today, you used such a lovely voice when you spoke to your sister.
Seth, when you came to me to tell me your sister took your toy, you didn’t whine but talked calmly. I’m so impressed with your big-boy voice.
Children thrive on praise. Find ways to encourage them to make choices that will cause people around them to enjoy being with them.
Nobody likes being around a whiny out-of-control child. A child will grow to dislike themselves when no one else enjoys their company. The most loving thing you can do for your child is to teach them how to be a joy to those around them.
And if you learn to love being around your child, chances are, so will other friends and relatives. Be kind, and help your child to become a person everyone enjoys.
Your child will thank you one day, for doing what was best for them. And chances are they will want to spend a significant amount of time with you since you enjoyed their company.