Whining? Focus on the Positive

This seems a small tip but it can have a big impact.  So often when I hear parents correcting their child’s unpleasant tone they say “Stop whining,” or “No whining,” or “I can’t hear that whiney voice!”  If anything this reminds the child to whine.  The golden rule here is what you focus on you get more of.  Focus your language on whining and that whiney voice, you get more whining.

You’ll be more effective if you change your words and focus on the positive.  Better to say things like “Use your nice voice,” or “Find your big voice,” or “I can hear you when you find your regular voice.”

This is true of positive directions in general.  Let’s say your child is grabbing toys a lot.  If you give negative directions like “no grabbing,” or “stop grabbing” you are reminding them to grab, sending the message that grabbing gets attention.  Child has to be able to turn your language around and figure out an opposite behavior.  Better to give positive directions such as “Ask for a turn,” or “Wait for a turn,” or “Find something to trade.”

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