Whining seems to be a real problem in many homes. And there are all kinds of ways that parents try to deal with whiny children. 95% of parents will say it drives them crazy. So we know it's a big problem. But the way in which the parents try to deal with the whining only increases the whining in the house.
So you have little Susie who starts whining at 3, and mommy says, Susie, I can't listen to you when you're whining. Please use your big-girl voice. Oh, this is fabulous. All I have to do is whine and mommy will stop what she's doing and talk to me and tell me to stop. And I say, okay yes mommy. I use the big girl voice. And then mommy goes away, and I want mommy back, so I whine a little bit. Mommy's like, oh Susie, Susie. There's mommy again.
So this is the pattern that the child is in. And the more time we spend trying to talk Susie out of the whining, the more convinced Susie is that whining is the best thing going in her life because mommy will drop what she's doing to attend to the whining.
The way to get rid of it clearly is to imagine that this whining is a small little weed. Every time mommy talks to it, she's fertilizing the weed. Please stop your whining. I can't listen to you when you whine. And the whining grows and grows.
Instead, put a bag over the weed. Put it in a dark closet. Close the door, and never open it again. In other words, ignore it. Do not answer your child when they are whining .Do not use the word whining ever again. Instead, when the child pulls out the whiny voice, you make the disconnect. You turn away. You go to the kitchen. You get the laundry.
The child has to think, mh, whining doesn't bring mommy anymore. And they accidentally use a normal voice. And in that moment, you make eye contact. You say, hi. Come with me. Let's go do something. And in the child's brain, something clicks. New connection with mommy that has nothing to do with whining. That simple.