6yo so negative and whiney - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 01-13-2012, 07:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, I need some input here.

 

I'm feeling like a terribly awful mother right now, like I've made some really huge mistake with my child.  Is it me or just his personality???

 

He's always been a pretty whiny kid.  He'll go straight to whining without asking for help and once he's gotten upset it's all over.  I've read a few books, tried a few loving approaches and the last time that made him physically aggressive!

 

I try talking to him about other ways to handle situations, like instead of whining and tearing apart your train set just calmly ask Mom for help.  Seems simple but it NEVER happens.  He would rather lay in his bed across the house and scream/whine for me to pick something up that's dropped out of his bunk than get it.  Yet other times he'd just jump down and help himself.  It's not consistent as far as what sets him off.

 

Now, he's an incredibly smart child.  He could tell you anything you want to know about his obsessions (tornadoes, train crossings and signals, etc.), reading earlier than most, articulate, etc.  He has a very vivid and active imagination.

 

I just feel like I'm totally missing something or that I've made an enormous mistake, like he's the only kid like this!


loving a small homestead with DH and DS (12/2005) keeping it natural, frugal and back to basics :
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#2 of 13 Old 01-13-2012, 10:53 AM
 
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You are not alone this sounds like my 4.5 year old.  He wants to try things but then if he can't do it perfectly he has a fit and it takes everything to get him to try again.  Last night he needed a kleenex and he told me he needed one, and I told him that he knew where they were and he could go get one.  He threw a fit saying he wanted me to go get one, but the other day he was getting his kleenexs by himself with no help from me.  We are also struggling on how to deal with these issues.  I will let you know if I find something that works.

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#3 of 13 Old 01-13-2012, 04:26 PM
 
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Does the whining ever work for him?  If you give in even once, it'll set you back.  Like taking 2 steps forward and 3 steps backwards. 

 

That's my only suggestion.


Sarah, partner to J and mom to DD1 April 30th, 2002 and DD2 May 5th, 2012. love.gif

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#4 of 13 Old 01-13-2012, 04:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm an incredibly stubborn mom and never give in.  If there's whining or pitching of a fit I can't give in.  So he has to calm down and run through the text...."Mom, can you please help me?", etc.

 

And clav, I think the perfectionist thing plays some part...he gets really frustrated if he feels he can't do something great right out of the gate, gets embarassed by it and sometimes hides that by pitching a fit.


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#5 of 13 Old 01-13-2012, 07:11 PM
 
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My sister was like that, too. I think it's personality, not parenting, especially if you're not just giving in to/rewarding the whining in any way.

 

I'm not sure he's quite old enough, but it can't hurt to try to talk to him about why he thinks he pitches a fit when something doesn't go his way. If it IS because he's embarrassed or frustrated, maybe he can think about how much more embarrassing it is to be behaving that way for a big boy his age. Or if it's frustration, how the fit really doesn't help solve the "problem" but taking deep breaths may help him refocus so he can succeed. (I do this with my 4 year old, and it does work sometimes, but he's not quite as intense.)

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#6 of 13 Old 01-13-2012, 07:35 PM
 
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My six year old daughter can be this way too.  I've noticed that it isn't consistent with her either.  Some of her triggers: spending too much time with friends, being tired, feeling unloved is a big one, hunger, etc.  I try to be understanding, but the whining can get really annoying. 

 

What works well for us is to do some project together where we really connect, and she feels like she's getting enough attention (there are three kids in the family.)  Then she doesn't have as much need to whine or to get me to do things for her.  Otherwise it can become cyclical - she whines, I get annoyed and snap at her, she feels unloved, she whines, I get more annoyed, etc. 

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#7 of 13 Old 01-13-2012, 07:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abarat View Post

I'm an incredibly stubborn mom and never give in.  If there's whining or pitching of a fit I can't give in.  So he has to calm down and run through the text...."Mom, can you please help me?", etc.

 

And clav, I think the perfectionist thing plays some part...he gets really frustrated if he feels he can't do something great right out of the gate, gets embarassed by it and sometimes hides that by pitching a fit.



That's good!  As a teacher, I can't even tell you how many parents talk about their kids' negative behavior...but then they give in to it!  I know it's hard to be consistent every single time, but it's so important!  So good job!


Sarah, partner to J and mom to DD1 April 30th, 2002 and DD2 May 5th, 2012. love.gif

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#8 of 13 Old 01-31-2012, 04:31 AM
 
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Your thread makes me think about my 7yr odl DS. Savvy, smart, creative, very imaginative. Yet the real world is a struggle because his output doesn't match his input? Reading? -boring.    Math? -why bother?    Drawing? -get right to it and then explain the great detail his ideas behind 4-8 pages of crude drawings that make perfect sense when he explains it.

 

He achieves perfection in creating, but if he gets one letter mis-spelled we have to go into crisis containment mode immediately or he's off to his own personal Fukushima.

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#9 of 13 Old 01-31-2012, 07:56 AM
 
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This thread comforts me!  My 6yo son is very similar to the OPs.  I also never give in, EVER, yet it doesn't stop the whining and negative attitude.  Neither DH or I are like this.   I assumed kids modeled their parents' behavior but that hasn't happened in our family.  A stop at the grocery store sets off 15 minutes of whining and complaining because "I'm not interested in stopping at the store!"


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#10 of 13 Old 02-05-2012, 08:40 PM
 
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Another parent comforted that I'm not the only one. =)

 

The whining and, in our case, the huffing and crossing arms and stomping off, is terribly annoying, made more so by the fact that my 2nd daughter (3.5) has begun copying all of these behaviors. More than that, though, it makes me so sad for her, that formerly sunny child could find something to complain about in ANYTHING. I kid you not, the other day she sighed and said it's FEBRUARY, which means it's almost SPRING which means it's almost SUMMER and I'm going to play outside more and probably get more cuts on my knees. I was flabbergasted, thinking, really??? Of all the things to complain about! And it is ev-er-y-thing.

 

We're trying to stay more positive, in the hopes that she's not picking up extra negativity from us, and I guess it's maybe an age thing? I hope so. A stage, I can handle.

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#11 of 13 Old 02-05-2012, 09:24 PM
 
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My ds was doing whining a lot too.  I was pregnant, and then we were adjusting to life with a newborn, and I didn't have a lot of patience for the whining.  We started "123 Magic" with our six-year-old and three-year-old.  Basically we have a written list of behaviors that are not acceptable...including whining, badgering, repeated complaining, fighting with each other, etc. etc. When someone engages in one of these behaviors, we give them a first warning ("that's one").  If they do it again, they get a second warning ("that's two").  If they do it a third time, they get a short time out.  I had never done time outs before, but I liked the idea of a system where the kids know exactly why they're getting a timeout, and they have a chance to avoid it, and the timeout itself is short and allows time to cool off.  They know the system, and it has worked very well for us.  It has encouraged a lot of creative problem solving and troubleshooting between ds and dd, as they figure out how to diffuse fights and take turns with toys to avoid getting a joint time out.  It has encouraged ds to rethink his unpleasant behavior and shape up when I give him a warning, and to ask for help when he needs a new strategy dealing with his own frustration.  Before we started this system, I was afraid it would create an atmosphere where kids weren't even allowed to express any negativity, which didn't seem fair to me, but in reality it has fostered a much nicer mood in the house generally.  The kids are more pleasant to be around, so I feel more friendly and connected to them, and I have a way to keep their occasional bad behavior from getting out of hand.  There's a book and a workbook and dvds, by Thomas Phelan. I find it very compatible with gentle discipline techniques. Anyway, I sound like a commercial, but I just wanted to share something that's worked for us, good luck.


lady.gif mama to H. 4/05 and A. 9/08 and baby C. 10/11

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#12 of 13 Old 02-07-2012, 01:46 PM
 
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One more thought--and this is sometimes a hard one for me--is to stay neutral in tone when you refuse to give in to the whining. It is hard sometimes not to get mad (and I think it's fine for kids to see parents sometimes angry, frustrated, sad, etc.), but in this kind of situation I try to calmly say something like, "I have already told you that you may not have ice cream for breakfast. I am now going to stop responding when you ask for it. When you are ready to do something else, I am happy to hang out with you."  I am trying to do this because I used to get irritated and angry and sometimes that escalated things and, I think, made it harder for him to just refocus positively. Sometimes I will say "I'm really getting a bit annoyed here because I already said no, and I already explained why." But that's different from acting mad. It's like, "your behavior is not conforming to acceptable standards that you already know, so it is not going to be effective."

I adopted this from dealing with cats when they do things you don't want them to do: If you yell at them, they will do it whenever they want your attention. However, if you just give them a quick spritz with the water bottle and then ignore them, they may just decide not to do that anymore.

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#13 of 13 Old 02-08-2012, 07:54 AM
 
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