29 August 2013

I've often heard people say: 'I can't stand whining children and there seem to be so whining children these days.'  Well, are there any more than there were years ago?  Or is it that we notice because we're not with children quite as often?  I'm not sure but, as a new Grandma feel it's time to brush up on my skills.

I suppose the first question is why do children wine in the first place?  Apparently it's straightforward: children wine to get attention, with a high pitched wine being so annoying that it can't be ignored.

This is not a conscious strategy on the part of children, but a learned behaviour - and parents often play a role.  If a child asks for something in a polite way and the parent doesn't respond the first time or two, the child with ramp up the volume.  A small child may yell or even throw a tantrum.  But an older child, who has developed more self-control, is likely to whine.

Parents are advised not to wait until the child is in distress to acknowledge her.  It's important to respond to that first bid for attention, if you can.  If you're on the phone or in the middle of a conversation, make eye contact with your child and put a finger up, so she knows you'll be with her in a minute. Then give your child your attention as soon as you can politely do so.

However, I do wonder if it's best not to immediately deal with her needs, otherwise she'll never develop patience. But knowing that she's been heard and her needs will be addressed soon is important and she'll gradually get used to waiting longer for help.

However, when whining does occur, parents should take a deep breath and remind themselves that the child is not trying to be irritating. The child is actually asking for help, see ideas here: (http://www.handinhandparenting.org/article/whats-the-cure-for-children-whining/)

This is a useful site for helping children to make the transition from whining to marshalling their thoughts, and asking for what they want in a reasonable fashion: http://www.ahaparenting.com/ages-stages/preschoolers/Life-Preschooler/pre-empt-whining

Here's a site which gives top tips on how to tackle whineyness:

  1. Be calm and clear
  2. Don’t be afraid of discipline, but don’t forget the praise
  3. Stop whining before it starts
  4. Pay attention to nap time/bed time
  5. Cut the sweets
  6. Be flexible

Wipe out whining gives the six Cs to help us cope with whining children: http://lovinglifeathome.com/2011/04/12/a-sure-fire-way-wipe-out-whining/

Now I can see I have lots of reading to do before tackling any whining and winging when looking after new grand daughter for the day.

I'm beginning to develop a mantra re parenting:  'If it's easy, you're not doing it properly'.  It isn't supposed to be easy, although at times it may be and it'll definitely be rewarding and lots of fun.  But our job as parents (and indeed grandparents!) is to bring up our children to be happy and responsible adults (and children help us to grow up too!)

Ah: and another idea: http://consciouslyparenting.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/alternative-view-of-tantrums-and.html

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