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April 16, 2007 / missknowitall

Stop The Whining

Dear Little Miss,

I am starting go crazy.  I homeschool my 5 children and I love them dearly.  For the most part, my kids are great.  They are obedient, helpful, and work hard.  The only problem I really have right now is the whining.  Every time I ask them to do something, or anytime they are bored, or whenever they want something, or when one gets hurt, they speak in a whiny voice that I can’t stand.  I am starting to loose my patience with them.  How do I get them to stop whining?

Dear Stop The Whining,

My sister once told me of a study that was done on obedient children.  The study showed that obedient children were more likely to complain or whine than the disobedient children.  This was linked to the idea that disobedient children rebel by not obeying, the obedient child knows he will obey so he uses whining or complaining as a way to rebel and express his individual standpoint before he obeys.  While enlightening, I don’t think this qualifies as an excuse for whining.  The only way to get your kids to stop whining is to teach them that it is unacceptable in your home.  Let them know that they are more than welcome to talk with you about things they don’t like, but that it must be done in their normal voice.  Tell them that you do not respond to whining and if they want you to listen then it must be with their normal voice.   The fact that they are all whining, and constantly, is a hint that this has become more of a family habit than an actual display of rebellion.  You may have to break this habit by stopping its flow.  A great way to do this is to have them recite something to you anytime they start whining.  A toddler can recite the ABCs, older children can recite short poems or do multiplication tables for you.  By the time the recitation is over they will have lost the whiny voice and can continue in a normal tone.  They will often forget what it is they were coming to whine about in the first place and will become so annoyed with this practice that they will train themselves not to whine.  If a child tries to argue with, “But I’m not whining” just respond, “I will talk to you about it after you recite”.  

If this doesn’t work, start serving cheese with every meal.

Cheesily,

Miss Knowitall

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2 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Livette / Apr 16 2007 11:18 pm

    Nice blog!

  2. cellista / Apr 17 2007 1:22 pm

    I love the recitation idea! I may have to try that one. Thanks! Also thanks for your comments on my blog.

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