We always find reasons to complain but since we learn how to do this in a more acceptable way as we grow up, it becomes less annoying for the people around us.
However, this is not the case with kids. It may be extremely annoying when a kid whines for hours with his/her high-pitched voice and you can’t even figure out why he/she is doing that in the first place. It is important not to forget that they are doing this for some reason.
Research suggests that kids tend to whine most between the ages of 2 and 4 when they are not mentally developed enough to perfectly express their needs. So if you are having trouble understanding why they are whining it is totally okay as they will learn it in time.
Not only kids between the ages 2 and 4 whine, but all kids do it. Whether they are just trying to manipulate you to get what they want or they actually are in need of something, letting you know of these by intense reactions is all they can do to express themselves.
You might feel overwhelmed by not being able to handle the situation correctly and it is completely okay if your kid is getting on your nerve at times. Although being a parent is hard work, you should be aware that they are just kids. You should be prepared for all the tiring parts of parenting just like you are embracing the best parts of it.
Again, remember that all kids whine, cause they are kids and they just want and need things. Even though it may get hard at times, still there are a few things we can do to understand their motives for doing this. Through understanding it, we can stop their whining to some extent.
Here are 5 ways to stop your kid from whining by understanding why they do it.
1) Check if their vital needs are satisfied
Your kid might be tired, hungry, thirsty, overwhelmed, etc. Since you are probably the only one who fulfills their needs, they might be whining to get these from you. There is no one else they can turn to, so they mostly whine when they are with you.
Making sure that all their vital needs are satisfied will make them less whiny. If your kid is whining, try considering what they might need from you instead of getting angry and turning your back to them immediately.
Whining usually results in kids getting what they want faster, in this case attracting attention for their needs which can justify their habit of whining. Yes, whining might be annoying but it also might mean that you are not giving your kid enough of what he/she needs to survive.
If you realize this is the case, try helping him/her to express him/herself smoothly and in a more polite way so that she can learn that she doesn’t have to whine to satisfy his/her vital needs.
It is also crucial to remember that one of their vital needs is a proper bedtime schedule. Children whine a lot when they are tired and sleep deprived so make sure that they are getting a good night sleep.
2) Spend time with them
Where there is a lack of communication, there is less bonding which applies to every relationship you build in life. The bond you are gonna have with your kid is one of the most important ones.
Not being able to build a bond with your kid means that you are not giving your kid the psychological support he/she needs and for a healthy mental development process, your kid should be able to connect with you.
Kids want a connection with someone that can understand them and participate in the activities they like. You are the first one they build a bond with and someone they can rely on so that they can feel close to you.
Again, children think attention is gained faster when they whine. So their whining may be the result of the weak support you are providing for him/her.
Do not forget that your kid’s needs are not only physiological but also psychological. Their attention-seeking may not be only for satisfying their vital needs. It is also for the connection they are looking for to have with you.
So, spend time with your kid and let her know (at least make her think)that you are also interested in the stuff she is interested in. Try to build a strong bond with your kid and never ignore them if she/he wants to spend some time with you.
Unless there is another reason for their whining, after a while, this should make them think that they don’t need to whine to spend the adequate time that will satisfy their longing for a connection with a caregiver.
3) Do not give hard punishments for whining
Giving hard punishments to your child is never the correct way to give them lessons. Yes, sometimes by spreading fear you can get most of the things you want such as getting your kid to stop whining, but you will also damage the bond you have with her.
It is acceptable to give small punishments like reducing their television time one hour. Also, even when you are giving your kid a punishment, staying calm is a better way to approach the situation.
Remember how annoying your kid’s intense reaction, whining, is to you. Now think about how a kid who is vulnerable and defenseless will be affected by you giving an intense reaction, a hard punishment. You might know how to handle these irritating feelings, but they don’t.
So do not make a mistake by not taking the minute you need to calmly think about the right way to respond to the situation lest damage the connection you have with your kid.
4) Figure out if they are whining to express their negative emotions
It is pretty normal to see people complaining when they are upset, angry or disappointed. A child can go through the same emotions without being mentally developed enough to express it in a softer manner.
If you think your kid is experiencing these negative emotions because of something you did, all you have to do is to calm down first. Remember that she/he is just a kid. Try to talk to her softly so that she can calm down too. Getting angry and yelling at them might harm your kid psychologically.
If you think his/her whining is triggered by someone else, try to understand what happened and why she is feeling this way. Try talking to him/her and find a solution to his/her problems. Give him/her the support he/she needs so that he/she can always rely on you.
Again, do not forget that what he/she is experiencing is totally fine. The problem is mainly with the way he/she is expressing it. Thus, teach her the correct way to express these emotions.
Through learning how to handle these emotions, he/she can also learn how to
5) Do not give them gifts to stop their whining
Giving them gifts to stop their whining is the most dangerous thing you can do to prevent them from whining. The only possible outcome of this is your kid whining even more than before.
If you give your kid something that will make them happy like a food they like, a toy or one more hour of television time he/she will get used to this positive pay off he/she is gaining from his/her whining. He/she will whine more for no reason at all to get what he/she wants from you.
Imagine someone giving you something you love every single time you scream at her for no reason, it is just like that. In order to get that thing you love
If you reinforce their whining, yes, their whining for their vital or psychological needs might decrease. But instead, this time their whining will be mainly for manipulating you to do what they want.
Some parents might have trouble with this if they have already reinforced their kids’ behavior with such gifts. If you are one of these parents, there is nothing to worry about. Children are constantly learning, so as long as you stop showering them with gifts for their whining, they will eventually accept that whining does not help them with getting what they want.
Also, it may be useful to ignore their whining at times but definitely not always. It works best when they are trying to manipulate you. However, as we discussed in this post, they might be whining for a justified reason, at least from their point of view.
But if you are in doubt whether your kid tries to manipulate you or cries actually for help, do not consider ignoring him/her until you make sure that his/her basic needs are satisfied and he/she is okay.
In conclusion, the best 5 ways to get your kid to stop whining is by making sure that their vital needs are satisfied, spending time with them, not giving them hard punishments, understanding if they are experiencing negative emotions and staying away from giving them rewards to get them to be quiet.
While you are applying all of these, do not forget that teaching them how to express their needs, wishes