“Moooommmm… I just waannnttt a coookkkkiieeee….” Oh, yes, the whining voice. My least favorite voice to hear. The voice that seems to come around more when they are hungry, tired or not happy.
We all have whining kids at one point or another… and usually we handle it in the same way: “Please stop whining and talk like a big boy.”
We have found that this does NOT work.
Mickey and I have had our fair share of whining voices between the four kids, but we have figured out a few tactics that make it stop and I wanted to share them with you:
1- Explain it.
I can remember being young and hearing “Don’t whine” but not actually thinking about what it meant until I was an adult. Now, when our kids whine, I say “This is what it sounds like when you use your whine voice “I just wwaaannnnttt a coookkkiiieee” and this is what it sounds like when you use a big boy voice “Mom, can I have a cookie, please?”
I remind them: “I will always say NO to the whine, but I might say Yes to the big kid voice.”
2. Stop Listening.
I simply say “I can’t hear whiney voices.” If they still don’t understand, I will look at them and say “If you want me to listen, you need to use a regular voice.” (again, you might want to explain what that means to your child)
3. Repeat Yourself.
If they continue to whine, simply remind them “I can’t hear whiney voices”. It may look like this:
Child: “Moooommmm… I just waannnttt a coookkkkiieeee….”
Mom: say nothing
Child: “Moooommmmy???? I’m huuunnngggrrryyyy….”
Mom: “I can’t hear whiney voices”
Child: “Mommmyyy??!!! I waaannnnttt a coookiieee plllleeeeaasssee”
Mom: “I can’t hear whiney voices. I need you to use a big kid voice.”
Child: “Mom? Can I please have a cookie?”
Mom: “Of course! Thanks for asking nicely that time. Have a seat and I’ll bring on over. Do you want a glass of milk?”
I have seen ALL of these things work first-hand, so you can trust me on them. HOWEVER, consistency is key. If your child does not get this message every time and is allowed to whine sometimes, it will not work.
I hope this helped.
For more ideas, you are welcome to sign up for my FREE e-mail course on spending one-on-one time with your child.