Complain, complain, complain!!! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 12 Old 07-05-2010, 02:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So HOW do you discipline this?

I have a 5/YO who (this is me expressing exactly why this complaining pushes my buttons!) is the absolute most UNGRATEFUL, WHINY child on this entire planet.

Tonight, we went to the fireworks.

According to Mr. Complaint, we did not sit close enough to the fireworks. On and on and ON and ON and ON about this!

He wanted to sit on the other side. (where the grass was wet)

His friend who told us about the area was not where we were.

It makes me just want to go "Would you *please* SHUT UP?! Do you realize how many children don't get to go see ANYTHING?!" (I didn't, but I did offer to take him home since we were not too far away.)

(and besides, if we HAD sat closer, actually at the fairgrounds where they were shooting them off, he would've probably been complaining about the noise. Or some tall person in front of us. Or smoke. Or not wanting to sit on a bleacher. Or something)

What do you DO? I mean it put a huge damper on the evening. (until I got happy DD in my lap and could ignore him and talk about the fireworks with her. At least SOMEBODY was happy.)

(oh and this afternoon it was that we didn't go up in the tower at the park. After he got to go in a modern and an old fire truck, a fire safety house, got a balloon hat, Subway for lunch, ice cream, oh...saw a traveling zoo exhibit...)

He used to be this way about almost *every* outing till I started offering to leave him home if he did not like my choice of destination.

But back to the subject, what do you do to stop this so it doesn't ruin an evening for everyone?! (if leaving him home is not an option, or taking him back) I really don't want to start packing *everyone* up, I don't find it fair to the other kids or to us parents if its something we want to do. And as the oldest of soon to be 4, I'm sure we are going to have plenty of outings that don't meet up 100% to his ideals/expectations/desires. Yet it's not fair to the others if we pack up and go home because of one...

lovin DH since 1/04, SAHM to 3 boys 10/04, 11/08, 11/10 one girlie (1/07), and one 13 wk (10/13) just your average :ha ng multigenerational living family!!
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#2 of 12 Old 07-05-2010, 02:23 AM
 
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Maybe he is just a talker and doesnt know he is complaining? Have you ever spoken to him about it?
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#3 of 12 Old 07-05-2010, 02:28 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peaceful_mama View Post
So HOW do you discipline this?

I have a 5/YO who (this is me expressing exactly why this complaining pushes my buttons!) is the absolute most UNGRATEFUL, WHINY child on this entire planet.
This is exactly how I feel about my son. He's not allowed to go to any more birthday parties this summer because he was an utter nightmare at one a few weeks ago.

A, jammin.gif mama to a boy (2005) and a girl (2009)
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#4 of 12 Old 07-05-2010, 02:50 AM
 
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I have been modelling for DS how to complain politely.

So if he says "MOOOOOOMMMYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY, *huff* I didn't want strawberry yogurt mommy, I wanted BANAAAANAAA!" as he strikes indignant pose.

I turn calmly and bat my eyelids at him and say "excuse me mommy, but I would rather have a banana yogurt, is it too late to change my flavor?"

And prompt him to repeat the polite form of the complaint.

And when he uses the polite form I try to respond with a compromise as a reward for using it.

like: It is, but maybe Daddy can have the Strawberry and we can go back for a banana one.

Or: It is, but next time I promise I'll ask you before I buy them. It's just that strawberry has always been your favorite. Forgive me?

He is entitled to his opinion and requests, but he is expected to express them in a way that does not make me want to drop kick him into next week.

Somedays he has a harder time remembering polite words than others (don't we all?).

If he is being incessant or I have to remind him loads, DH and I do rock paper scissors to see who is going to escort him home, assuming (outloud and calmly as we can) that he may simply not be in the mood for a fun outing (though typically once we start to count down to three to SHOOT he has a miraculous recovery). Only once that I can remember have we actually had follow through with the decision to go home.

There are days though where everything is a battle, and on those days I generally can trace it back to deprivation of sleep, food, or energetic play. so I usually give myself a and try to remedy the problem and remember to plan ahead for fun events next time.

So far this has helped for us a LOT.

Rebekah - mom to Ben 03/05 and Emily 01/10, a peace educator, and a veg*n and wife to Jamie.
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#5 of 12 Old 07-05-2010, 11:08 AM
 
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my DD is the same way, she complains and complains and complains about everything - and doesn't recognize "treats" or special days - perhaps because we do them too often? She could have a super duper awesome fun day - laughing, having fun, smiling, etc. with one 5 second bad period (a bug chased her let's say) and when we get home and ask her if she had a fun day she will say "Noooooo, a bug chased me, Waahhhhhhh!!!!" It IS super frustrating. However it is exactly how *I* was as a child. And it wasn't that I wasn't having fun/enjoying the outing, for some reason I just chose to focus on the negative. So I try really hard not to take it personally, teach her to focus on the bright side (cause once I started doing that as an adult, I found I was much happier), teach her that sometimes we do things because others want to do them and that is part of being a family, and work on complaining politely. But yeah, last night at the fireworks with both DD and DH who didn't want to be there, I wanted to trade my family for another one.

Mom to Morgan 4-3-06 and announcing Baby Kelsey 4-11-10
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#6 of 12 Old 07-05-2010, 12:56 PM
 
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DD likes to complain sometimes. I don't know why, but she loves pithy sayings, so a lot of the time when she's complaining I'll just say "Ya get what ya get and ya don't get upset" and that will crack her up.

Other thing is trying to go a little deeper and figure out what all this complaining is about? Does he seem unhappy? Does he need some one on one time? Is he stressed?
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#7 of 12 Old 07-05-2010, 01:10 PM
 
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I think it might be normal, as I was commiserating with friends about it the other day. For us, it's the idea of a "special day." We could do 16 fun things in a day, but if I tell her she can't have ice cream (or whatever) after dinner, then she tells me "it wasn't really a very special day" or "it wasn't really a very good day." Really? We went to the beach. You bought a new doll. We met Ariel. We flew in a spaceship and met the Queen of England. Doesn't matter what it was, that one thing at the end of the day will ruin everything for her. Grrrr.

Stacey teaching teens to read & write... Daddy plays ska, DD1 (7/05) loves trees & princesses, & DD2 (3/10) loves mommy-milk! Please get your kids tested for lead.
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#8 of 12 Old 07-05-2010, 03:08 PM
 
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First I would examine his sleeping schedule, is he overtired often? 5 y/os are still pretty selfish and really know nothing of what other people get/don't get to do. They also live more in the short term so they're going to focus on what is bothering them right now as opposed to the good thing(s) earlier. So perhaps instead of focusing on how to stop it maybe look at how to lessen the amount. Maybe you can explain a bit about what each outing will detail, maybe let him plan some of it. Make sure he's as well rested/fed as possible and maybe even say "you sound as if something's bothering you would you like to tell me about it". You could even say "well this is where we're sitting but you can walk x amount of feet that way and see if it's better."

Cathy mom to 13 y/o DD, 10 y/o DD, 7 y/o DS

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#9 of 12 Old 07-05-2010, 03:33 PM
 
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LOVE the rock, paper, scissors to see who is going to bring him home!

DS, 10/07. Allergies: peanut, egg, wheat. We've added dairy back in. And taken it back out again. It causes sandpaper skin with itchy patches and thrashing during sleep. Due w/ #2 late April, 2012.

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#10 of 12 Old 07-05-2010, 05:28 PM
 
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My (newly) 6 yo is exactly the same. Perhaps it is a stage? We just came back from a trip to NYC, our first ever big family vacation. All he did the entire time was complain. We ended up scrapping alot of the destinations we wanted to hit because all he did was complain. about. everything.

I don't really have any words of advice, other than I hear ya. One thing we do try to do is what a previous poster mentioned, and let him know that sometimes we do what he wants to do (the Lego store) and sometimes we do something that sister wants to do (the zoo).

I like the idea of showing him how to complain politely. One of the things that I really loved about the book "How to Talk So Your Kids Will Listen" is how kids really need to have their feeling validated. Sometimes doing it all day long is exhausting, though. My boy is very head strong and wants to be the master of his destiny always. I try to let him have as much control as possible about the little things, and insist upon the big things.
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#11 of 12 Old 07-05-2010, 06:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, it's summer, so it's light LATE here...and they're outside playing until what used to be bedtime during school.

But I did buy blackout shades so they are sleeping later usually...

yes, it was fireworks, so it was bedtime and they'd gotten up earlier than they do sometimes.

The complaints just get to me because I am absolutely determined NOT to raise children who are just *never* satisfied. I start wondering just where I've gone wrong that I have such an ungrateful, spoiled kid (In my head, I know he's not really that way!)

I'll be fair now and say there are times he does seem to understand and accept things. One example is that he thought he should have a Wii because his good friend has one. "Friend" is an only child.
I explained that because of our "little kids" (DD is 3 1/2, she is *maybe now* old enough to share something like that and not wreck it. DS is 1 1/2 and we are welcoming a new baby around Thanksgivingish.) I am worried that a Wii would get wrecked, but I'm willing to consider a DS because it could be easily kept away from the "little kids" but he could still play Mario. Oh, AND unlike a Wii, it could come on road trips.
He totally accepted that, and I am currently searching craigslist and the like for a gently used one.

I love the rock paper scissor idea too.

He KNOWS he is complaining. Maybe with the tower thing, he figures he is just expressing what he wants. I could see if a response like "I know you wanted to..." will stop the endless whine in that case.
And I could be more careful to point out that just because his friend went there last year and his grandma told us about the place doesn't mean that they will be in the same place this year.

I just REALLY get annoyed by this one...I know it's *my* adult understanding that there are so many kids who don't have what they do. I know that it's MY fear that I'm going to raise the child who cries because they think they didn't get enough presents when they got tons of stuff. I don't even ask them to make me wish lists and junk like that though because I really despise the whole "me me me" "I want, I want, I want" mentality. It's honestly the biggest reason I've kept the cable package that includes commercial free kids channels and free on-demand shows for them...because I don't want them watching TV with all the commercials that fuel the "Buy me this crap"
It's ME that starts wondering where I went wrong...and while it's hard to do in the moment, I might just have to start remembering that it's still going to be a couple years before he can *really* start showing that he *does* "get" what I've been trying to teach.....

lovin DH since 1/04, SAHM to 3 boys 10/04, 11/08, 11/10 one girlie (1/07), and one 13 wk (10/13) just your average :ha ng multigenerational living family!!
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#12 of 12 Old 07-06-2010, 03:43 PM
 
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Well, it's summer, so it's light LATE here...and they're outside playing until what used to be bedtime during school.

But I did buy blackout shades so they are sleeping later usually...

yes, it was fireworks, so it was bedtime and they'd gotten up earlier than they do sometimes.>>>>>>

it's hard in the summer to keep up with regular bedtimes but I do notice that my son especially(6) has a hard time with going to bed later even if he sleeps in a little. He's definitely more whiny and cannot handle certain situations as well.

Cathy mom to 13 y/o DD, 10 y/o DD, 7 y/o DS

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