Tips For Stopping Whining
We all know how draining and irritating a whining child can be, especially in a day care environment where a chorus of multiple whiners can seriously challenge your sanity. The constant, ongoing, nerve grating torture that is a whiny child is much harder to handle than a full blown, short lived tantrum. Fear not, it is possible to deal with the offending whinester and restore some semblance of peace and tranquillity.
Hunger, tiredness, boredom and feeling unwell are factors that can precipitate whining sessions. A substantial reduction in the whine concert can occur when you identify if any of the above are triggers. Unfortunately, whining is a very unattractive trait that, if left to it's own devices, can become a method of communicating which may last for many years. While there is no definitive cure for whining here are some tips to help prevent many incidents.
Attracting adult attention can often be the reason a child whines usually as a last resort. The whine is the final result of their escalating attempts to gain recognition. Adults, we have the power to acknowledge the little ones. You can often preempt the annoying behavior by simply listening to what kids are trying to say. Get down to their level and find out what's going on. Sometimes a little face time, perhaps doing some quiet activity is all it takes. Peaceful times can often be achieved via a little constructive attention.
Children need to learn the difference between various tones of voice and discovering how whining sounds is no different. Explain to the child that a whiny voice is not pleasant, that people don't like it and they stop listening. Help them to understand the negative effect of that sound by involving them in role play or tape recording the whiny voice versus the normal voice. Listening to themselves as a third party can be effective in helping them understand why whining is bad. Remember to praise the use of a normal voice when appropriate.
A child will whine when she is unable to express herself. Instead of reprimanding a child in these instances try to help her verbalize her feelings or needs. Help her with the verbage so she is encouraged to tell you what is wrong. The child will have less reason to whine when she has the opportunity to discuss her feelings and needs. The realisation that talking about her issues is more productive than whining will result from your positive attention.
Distraction is a great tool when a child is whining. Completely switching the subject and animatedly pointing out something unique and fun can stop the whines dead in their tracks. 'Did you see that squirrel out there?' Also, recognise when a kid is heading towards boredomsville...a bored child is a whiney child. Anticipate tedium and introduce a fun and absorbing activity. A busy child won't have time to contemplate whining.
Don't do negative attention because a child seeking recognition recognises any attention as a good thing. Try not to shout. You don't want to set negative standards or expectations so don't label a child as a whiner. Never capitulate and remain calm. You are the adult and must remain in control regardless of your quickly vanishing sanity. The last thing you want is for the child to break you and to realise that persistence pays off. They must realise that only a normal voice elicits a positive response. Peace and tranquillity is possible just hang in there.
As a day care owner Fiona Lohrenz has extensive experience of childcare which she writes about on her website. She has also used this knowledge to produce a 'Start a ChildCare Business' DVD guide: Start A Childcare Business DVD You can find her at her website: ChildCareOnly.com
Published May 27th, 2008