There are few behaviors that are more frustrating to adults than… whining.
Does your child wwwhhhhiiiiinnnneeeee to get your attention? Would you like it to stop? Read on to find out how you can teach your child to stop whining…. The attached article by Alyson Jiron, Brooke Brogle & Jill Giacomini explains that whining is a very effective way to get your attention. It can be due to many reasons like your child being tired or hungry, but ultimately it is because a child does not know how to ask for help appropriately. Whining as a behavior is encouraged when you give in to your child’s whines (Buying the child candy at the grocery store after they whine for it teaches them that whining works!). Punishing children for whining makes them feel even more powerless and gives them more reason to whine! (Taking your child’s toy because they are whining gives them reason to whine more!) The solution is to figure out WHY your child is whining and help them LEARN a better way to communicate. As the article says, teaching your child to use his/her talking voice to ask for things can be fun! Play the STOP/GO game by printing the graphic attached and making “stop” and “go” signs. When your child is pleasant and willing to play, practice asking for things with a talking voice and a whining voice. Take turns with your child using the stop and go signs to show if the request is a whine (stop) or a talking voice (go). Consider introducing a strategy we use in our classrooms to help your child appropriately get the attention of others. Children are taught to TOUCH and TALK, by getting their friend/teacher/parent’s attention by gently placing their hand on the other person’s shoulder, arm, or hand. Adults can acknowledge the touch on the shoulder by placing their hand on top of theirs if they need a minute until they give them their full attention. This is also a great skill to practice with your child in a playful way!