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Brooke Hadley

Stop Your Children's Whining Habits in Less Than a Week
July 5, 2003

I can’t remember when my son started whining, but I do remember the exact moment that I decided it had to stop. My hubby and I watched Dr. Phil and learned that we are responsible for this annoying form of communication.

Prior to this, I assumed that all babies and children whined. I thought it was natural. I did a little research, put some amazing advice to good use, and his whining is officially near non-existent. The whole problem ended in just a few days.

Why children whine
Babies communicate the only way they know how: crying. As they get a little older, the learn a plethora of other ways to express what they need and want. By the time they figure this out, parents have adjusted to the constant crying. When they start to whine, it almost sounds better. If parents respond immediately, they learn that they have control and power. Though they don’t yet know the words for it, children are perceptive and quickly learn how to get what they want.

Why whining is detrimental
Parents who respond to whines like words reward bad behavior. If parents allow this, the child could soon begin screaming or throwing tantrums to get their way. When this becomes frustrating, the parent often lets the child know that they have become angry at the situation or the child. In effect, the parent taught the child the bad behavior and then caused the child to feel bad for doing what they learned.

What parents teach their children by allowing them to whine
Children learn that it is okay to have power over another individual. If the child uses whining as a tool to get what he wants, the parent allows the child to manipulate them. Once the child goes out on her own, she will face many obstacles. Other children will make fun of her to her face or behind her back. She can get the feeling that she isn’t liked by her peers.

How to stop whining in less than a week
Let your child know that you no longer tolerate crying. In understandable terms you can say, “No whining.” If your child does not know the verb “to whine,” immitate him. That puts a term to the action and also shows him how silly he looks and sounds. This technique often causes my son to laugh and forget why he whined to begin with. Though delaying the problem is not the answer, the next step is to ignore him. If you get what he whines for, you cause him to whine more. By ignoring the problem, they quickly learn that this method no longer works.

Consistency is key
Your child will continue to whine. In many cases, it gets worse before it gets better. They will test you and try to break you. They might try throwing fits to get what they want. If the parent gives in now, he really does his child an injustice. Inconsistency could certainly make it last longer so stay strong. Children resist change, and old habits will persist. In less than a week though, the child will have this all figured out. Just know that our children are extremely smart, and they catch on quickly.
With this in mind, I feel that anyone now has the tools to correct this problem. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to e-mail me.

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About the author: Brooke Hadley currently writes freelance feature articles and has six years of professional writing experience. She has recently been published in Mystic, CT, Los Angeles, CA, and Austin, TX. She currently lives in Austin with her new hubby and their son, Skylar Austin. Email Brooke Hadley: PersistentGerl@hotmail.com.

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