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How to Get Your Child to Stop Whining

woman pointing in the air to the title that reads How to get your child to stop whining Kimberly Muhtar from the Renewed Mama Podcast positive parenting solutions, parenting coach, parenting tips

How can you get your child to stop whining, Mama? I know you’ve been there.  When your child doesn’t get what they want, and then comes the fake tears, the temper tantrum, and the whining. 

Maybe older sister poured water on her head to cool down.  Now younger sister wants to pour her Gatorade on her head too.  You of course say, “No” because that will be sticky, and on comes the instant tears.

You say no to candy bars, cookies, and ice cream bars while at the grocery store.  What do you hear but whining and begging?

You take older brother’s toy away from little brother so that it doesn’t get broken and little brother collapses on the floor in a temper tantrum.

Sigh! I’m feeling the sigh with you, Mama, because we’ve all been there.

How do you get your child to stop whining and breaking out in tears when they don’t get their way?

I’m glad you asked because I’m giving you suggestions in this episode of the Renewed Mama podcast.

REMEMBER THAT WHINING IS ARGUING

Each time your child whines, they are arguing with you. 

They are insisting on their own way and things going their way and when it doesn’t happen, they argue with you by whining, throwing a temper tantrum, or turning on the tear faucet.

Now obviously as a young baby and a toddler, they don’t know how to express to you in a better way as to what they want or need or that they don’t like it when something isn’t going their way.  They will cry or fall down or hit or grab for a toy that they want.

Their world is “I want.  I need.  It.  Now!”

When our children were little and behaved like this, we used sign language to help them to communicate what they wanted.  Every chance we had, we used the sign language for milk, poo, more, thank you, and drink. We didn’t give the milk or drink or more until they used the sign language. We only needed those few basic signs to stop the whining and to give our children the tool they needed to talk to us.

YOUR NEW PHRASE: Would you like to try that again?

As your children grow older, teach them that whining is not an option for getting what they want.

They can still ask.  Aren’t our kids persistent in asking for what they want?

But now you simply say, “Would you like to try that again, this time asking me without a whine?

-> Would you like to try that again, this time using your words and not fake tears? 

-> Would you like to try that again, this time saying, “May I play with that toy when you are done?” 

-> Would you like to try that again, this time choosing gratitude, being thankful for what I did put in the grocery cart?  Another time we can get a candy bar, cookies, and ice cream bars.

-> Would you like to try that again, this time… This is your go to line, Mama!

Before you know it, it’s the signal or the cue that tells them, “I’m whining.  Mom won’t say yes when I whine, throw a temper tantrum, or fake cry.”

Besides, when you ask “Would you like to try that again?”, the moment is ripe for a teaching moment. Now you can explain how to share and why you chose this time to not get the candy bar, cookies, and ice cream.

It’s not a teachable moment when they are throwing a temper tantrum or fake crying.  It’s actually an opportunity for you to get frustrated, sharp, to shout; and then it all goes downhill from there.

So practice your line, Mama.  “Would you like to try that again, this time…..”

IS WHINING COMMON IN YOUR HOUSE?

If whining and fake cries and temper tantrums are common in your house, two things could be happening.

YOU ESTABLISHED THAT WHINING IS OK

You allowed it to happen over and over and so now your children are conditioned to whine, fake cry, and throw a temper tantrum to get what they want.  You can be done with that by having a family chat and saying, “I learned something today.  I learned that when I allow you to whine, fake cry, and throw a temper tantrum to get what you want, I am allowing you to argue with me.  I was wrong.  I made a parenting mistake because I didn’t know that there was a better way.  Will you forgive me?  Now I do know that there is a better way to ask for what you want and to receive it.

So going forward, the next time that you want something, you ask me nicely, ‘Mommy, may I…May we…?’

And if you whine, fake cry, or throw a temper tantrum because things don’t go your way or you don’t get what you want, I will simply say, ‘Would you like to try that again?’  Giving you a chance to ask me nicely.” 

  1. Check in with your child.  Is there something more they need that is deeper than the toy, the cookie, the ice cream bar?

Are they thirsty?  Hungry?  Are they tired? Overstimulated?  Consider their physical needs.

COULD THERE BE MORE TO YOUR CHILD’S WHINE?

Check in with their feelings, too.  Are they needing your attention and the only way they know to get it is to throw a temper tantrum or fake cry?

I share more about this in the Renewed Mama Podcast Episode 35 – Please Stop the Temper Tantrums!

REMEMBER THE PREGAME HUDDLE

Be sure to pregame your children.  Even before you go into a grocery store, tell them what you will or won’t get.  Before you go to a friend’s house or the cousin’s house, talk about sharing and how to play well. 

Be pro-active.   Think ahead of what may come up.  You already know because you’ve been on the receiving end of the temper tantrums, fake cries, and whining.  So what can you talk through before it even comes up?  This can be a positive teaching moment.

I share more about the pregame huddle in Episode 64 of the Renewed Mama Podcast.  Watch or listen to that one.

Mom and daughter smiling at each other.  Daughter is wearing a Speak Life Badge for kids that reads I am Special.  positive encouragement for children in sticker award badges positive parenting tool

USE SPEAK LIFE BADGES TO HELP YOU STOP THE WHINING

As you work with your children to stop the whining, remember Speak Life Badges sticker awards:

I am thankful, I share from the I am Special sticker book and I choose joy, I obey with joy, I am patient, I put others first, I am self-controlled from the I am Priceless sticker book.

Give these to your children to encourage them and to celebrate when they choose a better way to ask instead of whining. Get those at speaklifebadges.com.

I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Well, there you go, Mama.  How to get your child to stop whining. Remember, whining is arguing with you. Practice your line:  “Would you like to try that again, this time…..” Check in with their physical needs and their feelings. Pregame them.  Get into the family huddle and talk through the moment and how to behave before it happens.

Let me know how this helps you, Mama.  Share in the comments one thing you will take away from this episode and do today to stop your children from whining.  Tell me how it works in your family.

NEED HELP TO STOP THE WHINING IN YOUR HOME?

When you need another Mama’s help to stop the whining in your home, I am here to work with you one on one through Renewed Mama Coaching

Sometimes, we are in the thick of it and we can’t see beyond what we are dealing with each day.  We just need another Mama to talk to.  Another Mama to help us up and over where we are stuck.

Go to Renewed Mama Coaching and book your first coaching chat with me. 

I’ll help you stop the whining, find joy in the dishes and laundry pile up, and guide you in thinking right, speaking right, and responding right to your children and your husband. Even to yourself, Mama, so that you come alive in this mama journey.

Get coached today.  Go to renewedmamacoaching.com

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