Whining is common. It isn’t your child being rude or trying to push your buttons. It is just a normal part of development. But one that is incredibly frustrating for parents to deal with. The good news is tone of voice and communication are teachable skills. Your kid can learn how to whine less and communicate better.
Here are a few tips to help you teach your child to whine less:
- Set clear expectations: make sure you explain to your child how you expect them to communicate. Have conversations about word choice and tone of voice.
- Model positive communication: children learn by example, so it's important to model the behavior you want to see in your child. Use positive language and a calm tone when communicating with your child and others.
- Use positive language to prompt them: When your kid whines you can cue them to remember the way you expect them to communicate. Something as simple as "Please use your kind words to tell me what you need" or "We use a calm, clear voice to ask for things."
- Use positive reinforcement: rather than punishing the whining, when your child communicates in a positive way, be sure to praise and celebrate them for it. This can be something as simple as a smile or a pat on the back, or a verbal “great job using your kind words buddy. So awesome!”
- Teach alternative ways of communication: Help your child learn other ways to communicate their needs and wants, including using nonverbal cues like pointing or gesturing. Body language is a huge part of communication, so even something as simple as teaching them to cross their arms to show they’re frustrated gives them a healthy way to communicate without whining.
It may take some time and patience, but with consistent effort and reinforcement, you can help your child learn to communicate their needs and wants in a way that isn’t whining.