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How to Handle Whining Children

Have a child that whines to try to get his way? Perhaps he is just whining to get your attention. Either way, whining is a common way that kids try to communicate something. The problem is that whining can be really nerve-wracking for parents (and other adults). Sometimes, however, it's what's not being said that needs to be addressed. Knowing how to interpret whining can help you determine how to address the situation.

Discipline Tips for Parents

Kids who whine are usually trying to tell you something. There are several reasons why they do it. Some kids whine because they are tired or not feeling well, but most want something. If you have a child that whines to get his way, there is a good chance that he is doing it because he knows it works and he has used it in the past.

To curb your child's whining, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Determine why your child is whining. If he's whining because he genuinely needs something, you can take care of it. If he's whining to get his way, ignore the whining.
  • Kids often whine to get attention. In this case, it is important to try to acknowledge your child right away, or at least as soon as you are able to, before he escalates to whining.
  • Establish a behavior chart with a points system. Award points and rewards when your child behaves appropriately.
  • If your child is whining to get his way, ignore him. If you consistently do this, he will learn that whining gets him nowhere, so he will eventually stop.
  • Teach your child appropriate ways to ask for things, address people, etc. Try setting up a behavior chart that uses positive reinforcement to nix the whining. Each time your child uses appropriate communication methods, give him a check mark, and then when he has earned a certain number of checks, reward his behavior.
  • Set good examples for your child about how to speak with people, using "I" statements to share his thoughts and feelings.

By consistently working with your child, you should be successful in encouraging him to leave the whining behind. Working with your child will also help him improve his communication skills.