aaahhhh, eeehhhhh, uhhhhhh! Stop with the whining already! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 01-09-2012, 05:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a 21 month old who has very few words (blue, mama, mommom are the only ones he consistently uses at the moment--he has other words, but these get daily play).  He has taken to whining and it may make me lose my mind.  

 

So, how do I handle whining when he's not verbal yet and I can't say "use your words"?  He does have signs for "more"; "please"; "banana"; "nursies"; "water"; "eat"; "drink" and a few others and uses these but they are accompanied by whining!  

 

 


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#2 of 13 Old 01-09-2012, 06:45 AM
 
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I agree - there is nothing like whining to put you over the edge. Is "help" ever in his repertoire? My son's daycare provider has had some success getting the children to say "help" in place of whining. And not sure if this would help since my son is very verbal, but I also ask him to use his regular voice, or tell him I can't help him if he whines but I love to help him when he uses his regular voice, and so far this has made all the difference for us.

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#3 of 13 Old 01-09-2012, 06:50 AM
 
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Children whose parents are deaf do not whine. I'm trying to turn a deaf ear to my DD's whining, and only acknowledge her when she uses a normal tone (unless she's in real distress, ofc). I think we're making a little progress. She talks a TON, but doesn't have that many words. A lot of times if she's whining, I ask if she's hungry. If she is, she'll run to the fridge and do a little jig. That's helped.


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#4 of 13 Old 01-09-2012, 09:06 AM
 
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Yah the whining can get on your last nerve. At 21 months I'd suggest responding with what you think the child wants, verbally. Example:

 

child: (whining and gesturing at a toy train on a shelf)

mom: (stare at the child for a moment and make eye contact) Train? Do you want the train? (baby name) wants the Train. Train. (Say the word 4-5 times and exercise it in a few short sentences.)

 

Then hand them the train. Do all the talking BEFORE you comply so you have a captive audience. Before you know it the child will be whining then the word "train" will pop in there a few times. The goal is to encourage the child to communicate, not stop expressing themselves.

 

I think ignoring the whines/attempts at communciation of a pre-verbal child is a missed opportunity. It is a perfect teachable moment. My husband makes the mistake of complying prior to communication and our incredibly verbal 2 year old still whines at him on occasion. DD knows she has to tell me so she finds words and I get very little whining.

 

Good luck! The key is to talk slow and be redundant.

 


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#5 of 13 Old 01-09-2012, 09:12 AM
 
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Every time my 16 mo DS does his AHHHHHH! whine for something he wants, I tell him "Say please!" or just "Please!" and get it for him. After a few days of this, he has actually started saying please about half of the time smile.gif Yay!

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#6 of 13 Old 01-09-2012, 09:41 AM
 
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It's trickier when they don't have words. DS is very very verbal but he tends to say everything in a whiny voice, especially around certain people who tolerate it better. What we've started to do is ignore it, or if it's not a good time to ignore, say, "I can't understand you when you talk like that." He then repeats what he's saying in a nicer voice. So I'm not sure how you'd do this with a pre-verbal kid... maybe, "I can't understand you, could you say 'help'?" or "I can't understand you, please point to what you want," followed by you stating in a nice voice what the word/phrase would be:

Him: "Ehhhhhhhh uuuuhhhhh"
You: "I can't understand you, can you show me what you want?"
Him: points to milk (without whining)
You: "Milk please" and hand it to him

Something on that idea. I feel that if you give him what he wants when he whines, it just reinforces the whining, so try to get him to ask nicely (in whatever manner he can - pointing, sign, words) before giving him what he wants. I don't know how you can ignore whining altogether if that's the only way a kid communicates (verbal or not), but I do think an element of ignoring can help too, though sometimes they just get more frustrated, and thus more whiny.
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#7 of 13 Old 01-09-2012, 11:00 AM
 
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We have a saying in our house that goes like this when the whine comes  out, "I don't understand whinage, we speak English and Spanish in our home.  Please choose and use your nice words with nice voice please." It's been working well, especially if as we play I start pretend whining in a highly annoying way as to demonstrate how obnoxious it is.  LOL  He asks me to stop 100% of the time.  It's a fun game where he tells me to knock it off - giving some power to him so he doesn't need to whine.


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#8 of 13 Old 01-09-2012, 11:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone for your ideas...

Quote:
Originally Posted by lovepickles View Post

Yah the whining can get on your last nerve. At 21 months I'd suggest responding with what you think the child wants, verbally. Example:

 

child: (whining and gesturing at a toy train on a shelf)

mom: (stare at the child for a moment and make eye contact) Train? Do you want the train? (baby name) wants the Train. Train. (Say the word 4-5 times and exercise it in a few short sentences.)

 

Then hand them the train. Do all the talking BEFORE you comply so you have a captive audience. Before you know it the child will be whining then the word "train" will pop in there a few times. The goal is to encourage the child to communicate, not stop expressing themselves.

 



I've been working on doing this, and he does "know" the sign for help...altho' he doesn't use it consistently.  What we run into is that if it's ignored the whining escalates into tantrums if we respond as above, he tends to whine until he actually gets the train...while we are repeating "train, you want the train?" and he's looking at us like we are absolutely insanse, "of course I want the train you idgits!"  So, we repeat ourselves ad nauseum and then give him what he wants, which then validates the whining.  So, bit of a vicious circle there.  

 

Otherwise, after a rough start to our day we ended up going to the "train store" where he was an absolute delight (and where I got to see LOTS of other people's toddlers having tantrums and grabbing from other children ;)  So, it made me feel better that the only thing I really have to whine about is, well, whining :)  

 

That said, I REALLY am starting to be anxious for purposeful use of language...because, blue, mama and mommom are lovely words, but not terribly helpful in many cases.  


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#9 of 13 Old 01-11-2012, 10:04 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovepickles View Post

Yah the whining can get on your last nerve. At 21 months I'd suggest responding with what you think the child wants, verbally. Example:

 

child: (whining and gesturing at a toy train on a shelf)

mom: (stare at the child for a moment and make eye contact) Train? Do you want the train? (baby name) wants the Train. Train. (Say the word 4-5 times and exercise it in a few short sentences.)

 

Then hand them the train. Do all the talking BEFORE you comply so you have a captive audience. Before you know it the child will be whining then the word "train" will pop in there a few times. The goal is to encourage the child to communicate, not stop expressing themselves.

 

I think ignoring the whines/attempts at communciation of a pre-verbal child is a missed opportunity. It is a perfect teachable moment. My husband makes the mistake of complying prior to communication and our incredibly verbal 2 year old still whines at him on occasion. DD knows she has to tell me so she finds words and I get very little whining.

 

Good luck! The key is to talk slow and be redundant.

 



Yes, this!! That is exactly how they learn. Say the word several times, slowly, with a long intonation.  This is how they learn new words. Before you know it, the words will indeed pop out! :)


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#10 of 13 Old 01-11-2012, 11:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, we've also been encouraging deep breaths (on all our parts) and nodding yes or no...and that seems to help a bit.  It's amazing how that constant whine can make one slowly go insane tho'!  This morning was rough...it was like he got stuck in a whining rut.  


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#11 of 13 Old 01-19-2012, 08:49 AM
 
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Yeah, we did a lot of the, I can't understand you/I don't know what you want, can you point to what you want? before she knew a lot of words (still use this occasionally when I can't understand her words) and then I tell her the word for it and practice it back and forth with her a bit if she is willing. I can't stand whining either, so I do whatever I can to discourage that and at the same time tell/show her the way I want her to ask for something instead. And before they have the words, it mostly involves using every opportunity to try and teach them words and encourage pointing.

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#12 of 13 Old 01-19-2012, 09:33 AM
 
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With my kids, hunger is almost always the deeper, underlying cause of whining.  It's not really about anything else.  When not hungry, they 'ask' for whatever it is without the whine.

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#13 of 13 Old 01-20-2012, 10:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We've had success with encouraging yes and no head shaking and "the waiting finger" where he holds up a finger to indicate that he will wait "one minute".  We've also found that he WILL respond to our requests to use "nice noises" instead of "yucky sounds" on occasion.  


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