Monday, February 3, 2020

Parenting Tip-The Whining Child

I just spent 2 1/2 weeks babysitting my 21 month year old granddaughter.  It was so fun because she lives out of state and I don't get to see her very often.

My daughter plays in a string quartet and her quartet was performing and teaching in another state.
So I went with them to babysit during the times my daughter was rehearsing or teaching.  My granddaughter always cried when mommy had to leave, but here are two things I used that worked like  magic to help her be happy:
**SINGING!  Let's see, I wonder how many times I sang Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, The Wheels on the Bus and Old MacDonald while driving in the car?  I would venture to say at least 100 times each!  I also made up songs and was often impressed with my rhyming skills, though no one else above the age of 21 months ever heard me to appreciate my talents.
**DISTRACTION  The name of the game with unhappy toddlers, even older kids, is to distract them.  I distracted my granddaughter by playing with toys, reading books, playing with play doh, etc.

When mommy wasn't teaching or rehearsing, her toddler was often whining at her.  This drives my daughter crazy because she does it so much at their house too.  So I decided to look up why toddlers/children whine and what to do about it.  All the articles I read agreed with each other.

Children whine because they don't know how to express their emotions and needs. They want someone to pay attention to them and they get frustrated when their needs are not met.  So they cry or start to whine.

All the articles I read about whining offered the same basic ways to cure whining:
1.  Understand that your child is whining for a reason.  Is she tired, hungry, sick, overwhelmed with too much stimulus, her scheduled has changed, late bedtime, teething, the list goes on and on and on.
2.  Explain what whining is and ask your child to say what he wants in a normal voice.  Then respond immediately.  This doesn't mean you necessarily give him what he wants (I understand you want to play longer, but now it's time to go home from the park.  Thanks for letting me know what you wanted), but if you are kneeling down looking him in the face, he knows you have heard him and at least have understood his needs.
3.  Spend quality time with your child each day.  Give her your full attention, hugs and kisses.  No phones or distractions.  Be in the present and enjoy your child.
4.  Look at your needs.  Are YOU stressed, tired, overwhelmed?
5.  One mother who blogged about whining cut out all screen time except on the weekend.  Instead of using screens as a babysitter so she could get something done, she used real toys and books instead. Be creative:  use kitchen gadgets as toys, recycled materials, pour rice with measuring cups into a bowl, water paint on rocks.

Some children whine more than others.
Some days/weeks are better/worse than others.
Some parents are more sensitive to whining then others.

But knowledge is power, and if you know what to try, even though all days won't be perfect, you will be more patient with your child--and yourself.

My next blog post will tell how I discovered I WAS WHINING, and to whom!

Thanks for reading,


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