Getting through the day, one cup at a time.

Group Decisions

on June 11, 2012

Ally is whiny.

Like, omigod when did this happen to my kid she used to me so happy go luck and fun and well behaved and well spoken and now all she does is whine and cry type of whiny.

It’s her newest phase and I’ve been struggling with it for about a month now. It doesn’t help with the screaming.

NOW, I know that kids are whiny. They’re little, they can’t understand their emotions, they don’t have any other way to express their discomforts or disappointments, they’re people too and are allowed to get grumpy BUT ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! This drives me nuts! She whines about stupid, useless things. Seriously. I don’t like to use the word stupid. I don’t want to belittle her feelings, or teach her that her opinion doesn’t matter. I don’t even want to teach her theword ‘stupid’, but as one adult to another – stupid.

She will whine when I ask her to go to the bathroom. She’ll whine on the toilet. She’ll whine after she gets OFF the toilet. She’ll refer back to the experience later, and whine about it.

She’ll whine if she can’t watch a movie. She’ll whine when it’s time to stop playing with toys to eat a meal. She will WHINE when she runs out of time to eat the darn meal because she spent so much time in the beginning whining.

She whines if food is too hot, then she turns right around and whines that it’s not hot enough. She’ll whine because she’s thirsty, then, not drink all of her drink – and whine about it when it comes time to dispose of it.

She whines every day when it is bedtime. Every day. I prepare her for ALL of these changes. I give time limits (5 more minutes until…; you have time for one more slide then we’re going home; 15 minutes until dinner) we have a clear and concisebedtime routine, but she still whines.

What is even more maddening then all of the above is when she whines about something I can’t change. Like, if she whines because it’s raining, and she didn’t want it to rain today. Or because there are no bananas in the house and she wanted a banana. Because the movie ended. (as if I’m supposed to magically make more movie appear) Because the sun is still out when it’s bedtime. Because the sun is too bright. Because the wind is too hard. Because the sand is sticking to her skin. Because. Because. Because.


The point? Oh right.

Well, I had considered selling her on the internet. Maybe giving her away as the prize for the winner of the next Photo Challenge. I thought about puncturing my ear drums and learning sign language. I had thought about removing her vocal chords. None of these seemed like viable options and I figured I would just have to ride it out. And drink.

One afternoon, after we had a blow out from her whining about…what was it? I think it was that she wanted to eat all of her dinner so she could have an Easter Egg but we had to leave for soccer just then, so she had to decide between soccer or staying home to try and finish her dinner for the chocolate egg…anyways… I regained my composure and went upstairs to her bedroom (where she had been sent) to talk to her. As I was looking into her big brown eyes I tried to explain my feelings.

I told her that it was really irritating when she whined so often, that I understood that she was whiny because she was sad or frustrated and that she didn’t know what else to do. I told her that WHEN she whined that it made me angry, especially when she whined about things that we couldn’t change – things that were just a part of life. I explained that whining would never gain her what she wanted, ever, and that it would only succeed in making me angry.

Then I asked her what she thought we should do about it. And I waited.

She said: “Maybe you can try saying ‘Can you stop whining please?’ instead.”

So I agreed. And then I added that if she doesn’t stop whining after I said that, that she would then have to go to her bedroom. It was a deal.

Nine times out of ten it actually works. Can you believe that?


11 responses to “Group Decisions

  1. sillyliss says:

    Wow, that is incredibly awesome! What a fantastic idea to put her in control of the solution and with a clear consequence of what happens if she forgets.

    Emilia went through a pretty long whiny stage. She slips up sometimes, but not as often as she did a year ago, by far.

  2. I love, love this! You expressed your own emotions and that it’s not just all about her—that you feel things too. And you gave her the power to think of a solution, thereby making her want to follow through with them more (since it was her idea). You also gave her a consequence should it not happen. You are on your game, mama!

    This will give me ideas on what to do if my toddler whines.

    • Wow! Thank you! I’m normally quite in awe of your well-thought out solutions, so to recieve praise from you..well, that’s an award in itself. 🙂 In all seriousness, without a solid mother figure I am making things up as I go and finding my role models and ideal behaviour through observations of others. I quite appreciate your parenting style and tips and try to implement them in my own life!

  3. Brilliant! I feel your pain with the whining. There are times when I ask my son why he is whining and he says ‘I’m not sure’……..well do you think you could stop it then??? It mainly happens when he’s tired.

    • I used to be able to semi-understand the whining. If it was near bedtime, mealtime, or we had to end something super awesome fun; but this newest stage was/is so infuriating! It doesn’t seem to be linked to anything other than needing attention for emotions? Flexing the independence muscle? Being rebellious? Oh well. A mystery shouldn’t be a surprise for parenting, but it’s certainly not enjoyable!

  4. pamasaurus says:

    Parenting WIN! Seriously. Awesome job!

  5. Foodler Kids says:

    Nice! My toddler has quite a naturally high pitched whiny voice and intonation. Pretty much everything he says sounds like a whine. We try to encourage him to use his “nice voice” when he asks for things and model what how we want him to speak. It’s been a slow process.

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