Whining is generally on the top of the list of most irritating behavior in toddlers but unfortunately it can manifest in older children too but hey it’s completely normal, so every child including my own did it. You are not a bad mum. In this blog, I might be able to offer another understanding that may help you to take a different position with your child and decrease the irritation so you can stay calm and carry on.
Why do children whine?
Whether it’s in a toddler or an older child, it’s generally the best a child can do in that present moment. Most children do not start to develop emotional regulation skills until they are 5 onwards. Children are not born with those skills, it’s something they have to learn from their environment, so that’s you most of the time but in addition a child’s temperament can have an impact too.
1.Whining may indicate that they are about to lose control and need you to help to calm them down.
Action, be a mind detective, whining children have real needs:
- Listen, be the calm and carry on, name and label their feelings if you can and give them a hug.
- You might say, are you sad you wanted to wear your dungarees today and they are dirty, that’s hard oh…hug.
- You may want to distract them with humour and make a joke of it.
With an older child, give them the cue to say what they want and model what they are asking
- You may in addition want to have some family rules or set a limit about how to ask for things, so a you might say:
- Okay, you want the biscuit, can you use to quite and calm voice or be playful, you can have one tomorrow, kiss on cheek.
- If they carry on , hold your ears and say I still can’t hear you, dont react and don’t give in. Each time you give in they will learn that whining gets what they want.
2. They may be really run down and over tired
Action, stop and be and Praise too:
- Try to think when they had a nap or their food. Make time to just be and play with them with full attention. The Buddhists believe that offering your full attention is love, this means just you and them, no phone, no friends etc.
- This is the same for older children, I tend to think that children do so much and sometimes there isn’t the time to just be and play. Ensure the whining is not about getting negative attention form you. Remember children are social beings so any attention is better than none.
- Ensure when they ask you for something in a calm way you praise, praise praise.
3. They may feeling very disconnected and separate from you.
Action, find some time to be with them and manage family stress
- Life is full! we may not be able to attend to our child in that moment and actually it’s important to help children to learn self control but it can be really hard to find the right balance.
- Your child may be reacting to the family atmosphere, not having your attention and so the whining may come following a build up of emotions.
Good luck and as I think that life is about giving and receiving, please share with your friends and be great if you like my Facebook page too, there are lots free tips there that I don’t put here. With love and gratitude Catherine