“If a child begins to whine about why he or she has to do chores, instead of growling ‘Because I said so,’ parents should take a moment to help the child understand that it is important for everyone in the family to contribute.”
Whining is essential to parenting; one cannot be a parent without being subjected to the sounds of children whining, often times for hours on end.
This behavior evokes certain common (sometimes understandable) reaction in parents. Some explode anger, while some downright ignore their children altogether.
According to Ben Luthi’s Family Share article, however, it is important to understand that there are things “parents can do to prevent whining in the first place, and most of them involve teaching children by example to communicate.”
1. Teach them how to be responsible
The earlier they learn it, the better your child will be, now and in the future as adults. For example, children know that playtime is loads more fun than homework, so parents need to make clear to their children how the latter will help them in life.
“If a child begins to whine about why he or she has to do chores, instead of growling ‘Because I said so,’” says Ben, “parents should take a moment to help the child understand that it is important for everyone in the family to contribute.”
2. Stop giving in to their every whim
“Children who are used to getting everything they want usually have a hard time understanding when a parent suddenly says no, causing them to whine in an attempt to get their way.”
Parents need to manage their children’s expectations, make them be grateful for what they have, instill in them the principle that “better” doesn’t necessarily mean “more.”
3. Give them attention
Whining stems from parents’ lack of attention towards their children’s needs. It is therefore necessary for parents to really understand what their children are trying to communicate to them. They should not be treated as a nuisance.
“Parents should be sure to also give their kids their undivided attention at times when they aren’t in crisis mode, otherwise children will come to realize that the only way to get the attention they want is to throw a fit.”
4. Be fair
“Instead of expecting children to do all household chores, parents should work alongside them,” said Ben. “In addition to making their children apologize when they are rude or dishonest, parents should do the same when they mess up.”
The same goes when it comes to discipline. Make sure that the punishment fits the crime: if a child vandalizes the living room, grounding them from writing and drawing material makes for a better disciplinary action than taking away television rights.
“In all things, it’s important to remember that discipline is meant to help a child improve, not to make a child pay.”
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