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How To Stop Your Child From Whining:

How would life around your house be improved if there was a way to magically stop your child from whining?

Would mealtimes be peaceful again?

Would bedtime stop being a battle of wills?

Wouldn’t your house become a much happier home?

Now, unfortunately, I don’t know a “magic” way to instantly stop your child from whining, but I’m about to share with you the next best thing: a simple, step-by-step system you can follow to “cure” a whiny child… in a single weekend!

Whining = Annoying.


Charlotte’s Story:

Three-year-old Charlotte whines about everything.

When it’s time for breakfast, she whines that she only wants the cereal you’ve run out of, she whines that she wants more milk, and she whines that her sister got more yogurt in her bowl.

When it’s time to go out, she whines that she doesn’t want to put her shoes on. This continues throughout the day. Her parents constantly remind her to ask in a nicer voice, and even try ignoring her completely when she whines.

None of this slows Charlotte down.

Her siblings have learned to hold their ears when she whines at the dinner table about how she doesn’t like cooked carrots.

Her exhausted parents give in when she whines that she needs to watch one more show on TV.

Even the dentist offers her an extra prize if she’ll just stop complaining, open wide, and show him her teeth.

She has become so skilled at raising her voice to that high, irritating frequency that she generally gets two things: an angry parent… and exactly what she wants.


Sound familiar?

I’ll bet it does, since I have yet to meet a family that hasn’t had to deal with whining.

Now here’s the part that usually comes as a surprise to most parents:

Whining is a two-way street.

No matter how much you may believe that your sweet little child with the fire-engine wail and the stubborn persistence is somehow just out to get you, at least 50% of the responsibility falls squarely on your shoulders!

If that’s the bad news, the good news is that this means there’s something you can do about it!


Why Is Your Child Whining?

Kids whine for a reason. The three most likely reasons are:

1.  To get what they want
2.  It gives them a feeling of power
3.  Because something is wrong

Before beginning any kind of discipline plan around whining, always rule out #3 first.

If your child is ill or tired, she needs to be given some slack. We all feel like whining when we have a rotten cold or didn’t get enough sleep.

But kids could also be whinier than usual if something is really bothering them, so think about what’s happening in the child’s life. A parent who is busier and less attentive than usual, fighting in the home or a separation or divorce, being bullied at school…

Make sure to rule out #3 first!

Any of these things can cause turmoil in children’s lives and leave them feeling powerless and upset.

If this is the case for your child, offering extra support and love with gentle reminders not to whine is probably the best course of action, and the whining will most likely decrease when your child starts to feel better.

But… if you’ve ruled out #3, what you’re dealing with is a power struggle, and a different course of action needs to be taken to regain control of your household.


Whining Is About Getting Attention

Your child doesn’t want to wreak havoc on her happy home, but children learn from a very young age how to get what they want… and how to get the reactions they want from their parents.

Since much of their young lives are spent feeling relatively powerless in the face of all the demands and instructions they are being given by grown-ups, it only makes sense that they try to reclaim some of that power.

Whining is children’s way of letting us know that they aren’t happy, and it is effective because it almost always gets a reaction.

Remember, children don’t always care if they’re getting negative or positive attention — just as long as they’re getting attention!


So What Do I Do?

The good news is that there is a light at the end of the tunnel!

Chronic whining can be cured with minimal disruption, and once you stop “rewarding” your child’s whining with the attention they are looking for, you’ll be surprised at how quickly this annoying habit simply disappears!

First, ask yourself a few questions:

1. How do I respond to demands that are made in a whining voice?
Do you give the child what he asks for? If so, it’s time to stop!

2. Do I get angry?
A young child might whine just to get a rise out of you. Don’t react emotionally.

3. Am I inconsistent?
If you give in to the whining sometimes, but give consequences other times, you might as well just cave every time. Inconsistency is totally ineffective when it comes to whining.

Next, try some of these 3 “quick fixes”:

• Ask your child to repeat what she said in a nicer tone every time she speaks in a whining voice. This can be effective for some children. Keep asking her to repeat herself in a polite tone of voice until she does so. Gentle but consistent reminders can sometimes help.

• Create a chart and give your child stickers at the end of each day that he manages to use his polite voice instead of whining. When he has a whole week’s worth of stickers, offer him a small reward.

• Communicate with your children that you want a real effort to be made to stop the whining and explain that you will not be giving in any more when they whine. I’ll probably start to sound like a broken record but the Number One Rule really is “Be consistent!”

For some lucky parents, one of these basic solutions will be all that’s necessary.

If so, congratulations! If not, set aside an upcoming weekend for…


The One-Weekend Whining Bootcamp

The Plan: Give a time-out whenever your child whines.

This will only be effective if you do it every single time. This can be next to impossible in everyday life when you have a busy family, so many parents just don’t manage to pull it off.

But by making the decision to take a whole weekend to deal with the problem, you will be able to solve it for good!

Step One: Choose a weekend when there isn’t a lot going on in the family, and if you are in a two-parent home, preferably one when both parents are home so that one parent can deal with the needs of your other children while the other deals with whiners and time-outs.

Step Two: Tell your child the plan. Sit her down and explain that Mom and Dad have decided that the whining is just not working and that it makes other people in the home unhappy. Tell her that you have decided to give her a time-out every time she whines and that you hope that will help her remember that whining is no longer okay in the home.

Step Three: Choose a location for the time-out. (Remember, it’s best to have it removed from the action or “hub” of the family, but not so isolating as to be scary for the child.)

Step Four: Get a good timer. (An adjustable egg timer that rings a bell or sounds an alarm when time is up works well. My favorite is this one from TimeTimer.)


Here’s Exactly What To Do When Your Child Whines:

All you need to do is go about your weekend as usual. The only difference is that every time your child whines, you issue a single warning followed by a short (3 – 5 minute) time-out if he doesn’t stop. So a typical interaction might go something like this:

Child (whining): I don’t want to watch this show!

Parent (calmly): You’re whining. If you’d like to talk to me, please do
it in a polite voice.

Child (still whining): I said I don’t like this show!

Parent: OK, that’s a time-out for whining.

At this point, you’d just lead your child to their time-out space… set the timer for 3 – 5 minutes… and walk away.

Yes, you will be met with much resistance! But remember, you’re the boss here.

The child is likely to be indignant and test you to your fullest to see if you have a breaking point.

Stick with it — even if it means you are parading her to the timeout chair 20 times in an hour!


Don’t Forget To Do This:

Make sure to make positive comments when your child asks for something without whining! This gives your child the attention they are craving, but in a positive way instead of a negative one!

For example, you could say things like, “I really liked the way you asked so politely for another cracker! Why don’t have two for having such good manners!”

Don’t forget some positive reinforcement!


And Stick With It…

If you start to feel defeated and want to give in, get your spouse to take over (or a close friend or a family member).

It might be difficult to ignore all the crying and pleading and angry outbursts, but be consistent and it will pay off! Your child will know you are serious about ending the whining once and for all.

By the end of the weekend, I guarantee you will find that your child’s whining has decreased dramatically.

But even after the weekend is over, it’s really important to continue giving warnings, reminders and time-outs as necessary to reassure your child that whining really isn’t allowed in your house anymore.


Why It’s Worth Doing…

Now, I know that spending the better part of one of your precious weekends policing your whining child doesn’t exactly sound like anyone’s idea of a good time.

But I also think you’d agree that it’s actually a very small price to pay not to be embarrassed in a restaurant as your child throws a fit because the restaurant doesn’t have their favourite kind of ketchup!

I struggled for almost two full years (from ages 2 – 4) with my second-born son’s whining problem.

After using the method I’ve just described to you, my son’s whining was “cured” in a single weekend, and I’ve since taught this system to thousands of parents like you who have been able to do the same!

I encourage you to choose THIS coming weekend as your “Weekend To End Whining.” Not only does a whine-free household make parents happy (for obvious reasons), but it actually makes for much happier kids, too!

Like I’ve said many times before, all kids want to be “good.”

They love positive attention from their parents more than almost anything else in the world, and the act of simply “not whining” is one of the easiest ways to get it!


What’s Next?

I recently conducted a survey in which I asked parents what their BIGGEST parenting challenge was, and one of the most common answers was: “My child is always whining.”

So, I wrote this article to show that even our most frustrating parenting problems can actually be solved quickly and easily – as long as we simply commit to following a step-by-step system that’s already been proven to work!

Of course as our children grow, we’re going to face all kinds of different challenges, and that’s why I created “Kids: The Manual.”

It’s a comprehensive ‘how-to’ guide for solving the most common headaches we face with kids aged 2 – 12, including:

● Temper tantrums
● Fighting with siblings (or other children)
● Not listening
● Rude behavior

… and much more

And since you’ve proven to be a pro-active parent by reading all the way through this LONG article, I want to let you know about a special bonus offer! You can find out more by going to:

Baby Not Sleeping Through The Night?

Get One-On-One Help!

Yes, The Sleep Sense™ Program is a great Do-It-Yourself guide for solving your baby or toddler’s sleep problems!

But if you’re looking for full-service, one-on-one help, I’m here to help!

The Sleep Sense Philosophy

Cry-it-out? Coddle? Co-sleep? Attachment parenting? Ferberizing?
If you’re going to let me help you with something as precious as your child’s sleep, you probably want to know a little bit about who I am and exactly how I think...

Dana’s Sleep Blog

Straight talk about sleep, parenting,
babies, toddlers, relationships… and
just about anything else!
My blog is a great place to find opinions, advice, the occasional rant, and some great videos about sleep.

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