Whining is something we can all agree is frustrating and annoying. As parents, we attempt to keep peace and harmony flowing in the family, but there are always those times when complaints and whining fill the air. There are many causes for it, including simple human nature, but there are ways to teach our children the discipline to keep the negativity to a minimum. Here are 5 All Pro Dad-tested ways to deal with, and squash, the complaining of our children.
1. Ignore, Ignore, Ignore.
If your child has a legitimate gripe, then this doesn’t apply to the situation. As parents, we should always keep the lines of communication open. Otherwise, 90% of the time, and especially with toddlers and younger children, the complaining is mostly nonsense. The best way to deal with it is to simply ignore them. “I am sorry, I don’t speak Whinese.”
2. Change the Subject.
The art of manipulation is not always a bad thing. Children, and especially younger children, can be easily distracted. If your child is complaining or even in meltdown mode, simply point him/her in another direction. Using humor makes it much easier and turns a negative behavior into a positive outcome. Children love to laugh even at their worst moments. For instance, you can pick up one of their favorite toys or stuffed animals and let it speak for you in your best cartoon voice. “Gee whiz, this boy has done gone crazy. Look at this mighty ruckus he is causing. Mercy heavens.”
3. Proper Diet.
Junk food and too much sugar have far-reaching effects. It isn’t that a bag of chips or an occasional soda is the end of the world, but children will usually choose junk over healthy alternatives every time if allowed. That leads to all sorts of issues including their overall behavior. A child wound up on a sugar high is like a spinning top. When he begins to wind down, it can get ugly. Our children are growing fast and need solid meals and snacks. Make sure they are getting quality intake, because if not, as the saying goes, “Garbage going in will be garbage coming out.”
4. Quality Sleep.
This should be a no-brainer, but nonetheless it is very important. Children play hard, work hard, and crash hard. They need at least 8 hours of sleep, and most need more than that. Proper rest is required for every aspect of their lives, including temperament. A child without enough sleep is going to almost always been a cranky, complaining mess. Set age-appropriate bed times and stick to them.
5. Set the Example.
We are the number one role models for our children. When it comes to whining and complaining, they are going to emulate what they see and hear from us. We all need to share about the things that bother us. It is a healthy release. Just be careful when and where you practice that form of self-therapy. In front of your children, they should see a calm, collected, and rational adult.
© 2012 All Pro Dad. All Rights Reserved. Family First, All Pro Dad, iMOM, and Family Minute with Mark Merrill are registered trademarks.
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