Is your clingy, attention seeking child making you feel overwhelmed and frustrated and are looking out for the most effective strategy on how to end nagging tantrums and whining by children?
Well, before you venture in the search on how to deal with the whines, it should be known to you that, while child whining is an annoying and distracting sound to you, to a child, whining is a natural language to demand for attention and not necessarily a behavioral problem.
And guess what? Whining works; and do you know how? You stop ignoring the child and attend to them. The problem is when the child becomes manipulative which is what makes you lose patience with the child.
In a nutshell, yelling and scolding your child won’t stop whining; only a positive response will. Unfortunately though, if that positive response will only be induced by you giving in to the whines, you just reinforce the dominance of the child.
Simple causes of tantrums, nagging and whining in children may include:
- Expression of frustration if they “feel” neglected,
- Need for more time with you,
- Un-explainable feelings of discomfort, hunger or even crankiness,
- Significant change in their life like having a new sibling, joining or even challenges in school among others.
However, whines will and should definitely reduce as the child grows and masters the right language to express themselves articulately. If it persists though, more needs to be done to tackle the behavioral problems of the child.
Steps on how to end nagging tantrums and whining by children:
Understand that whining is a language
Though irritating, know that it’s a language that a child knows and works magic best for them. Subsequently, this will enable you appreciate the need to train the child of the most appropriate means of communicating. Bring the change that you want. Who wants a whiner anyway?
Be in-charge and make the child know as much
You can not even possibly embark on the “journey” on how to end nagging tantrums and whining by children if you don’t appreciate that you are the teacher and as such, very much in-charge. This will enable you take responsibility of making rules or at-least lead the process of agreeing with your child how things out to be done.
If you pass the responsibility to the child, you will definitely be manipulated to always opt for the easy way out with the child and the child will most definitely make the most out of it. Of course to their benefit for the response they want and not necessarily deserve.
Identify what causes or influences the whines
A child’s behavior is very predictable. As such, by being close to the child, it’s easy to note what influences or triggers the whining. Subsequently, you can now accurately “put a name” to those needs and educate.
Further, if the influencers (say, excess screen or toys time) of this bad attitude are things that can be cut off, kindly go ahead and let the child know that they’re not acceptable and can only be available in moderation and regulation.
Help the child know and express what they want
Help the child identify and precisely identify their feelings. When they can clearly decide in their mind what it is they want done to/for them, they can then voice it out clearly.
Be calm and explain the right words to use even when frustrated. They should always be clear on what they need your attention on without being grumpy. Otherwise, you can’t help out.
Fill “attention cup” by scheduling of a routine
As stated earlier, tantrums and whining are languages of calling for attention by children. By having a schedule, practical to the child, this helps their mind understand that various activities are done at different times.
The child is able to anticipate and even prepare for them mentally. He will not cause havoc for something because he knows it’s time is coming.
Adherence to this schedule helps to relax a child’s mind and subsequently, is able to trust you the parent that you will keep your word. He is subconsciously relaxed and confident that he doesn’t have to chase you around for the thing that fills his attention at any given time.
Let the child know child what is whining and that they whine
It’s not a wonder that your child may not be aware they are whining. Without mocking or making fun of them, let the child know how grumpy they sound when nagging, whining and throwing tantrums, and that it’s annoying. You could do a little mimic to demonstrate.
After letting the child know how bad they sound when they whine, make it crystal clear to them that it’s unacceptable and can never be the choice mean to express what they want. Let the child know that “You neither hear, nor understand whines”; only nice normal voice tickle your ears.
Be resolute, be unbothered; no giving in
In any case, your ears only hear nice normal voices. Be calm showing no sign of concern at all when he starts to whine. He will try his luck with tantrums, but if you remain steady in the face of falling for the blackmail, the child will realize it’s not working and come round to reason.
Do not under estimate children; they can really test your resolve. Most times, your affection for them makes you drop the ball.
Recognize, affirm, praise and reward progress
Just like you want your efforts recognized, so does a child. When the child masters the art of using his nice normal voice to express himself to you on whatever he needs your attention on, be quick to recognize it and praise him for that. If possible, a small token like allowing or teaching him play a favorite game will even cement it in his brain that that’s how to communicate.
Consistency in holding on
For these strategies on how to end nagging tantrums and whining by children be truly successful, be advised that they have to be applied consistently. The deep love for your child will once in a while play tricks on your emotions while you are on course, training your child to stop whining, stop nagging and stop tantrums.
And guess what, the love will sometimes make you give in when whines get to your heart. What a mistake it will be. The child’s mind records that it’s still possible to get attention after intense and annoying whining.
If co-parenting, ensure that you partner also doesn’t react positively to whines. If one entertains whining as a means of recognizing demand for attention by the child, the child will start taking sides and distancing himself from the one who won’t take whines as an acceptable language. You may disagree with your partner, but the child must not know.
Seeking help is an option
Having tried all the above sure and effective strategies on how to end nagging tantrums and whining by children and unfortunately feel that you are not winning the contest, it’s not weakness on your part to seek help from a children’s counselor.
Alternatively, you could get some resourceful materials on parenting that can help you a great deal to understand your child and know how to appropriately engage him and help him in behavioral change. Some of the resources are free online, while others are at a small fee for your library and they will be worth every penny. Click here to see.
An important point to note, all whines are meant to signal need for attention and connection by a child. As such, you should not result to sending away your child to their room as a means of punishment for whining. Distance is no solution, all that the child is asking for is connection; in the wrong language though.