Originally Posted by amcal
I've stopped giving her attention when she makes negative statements. I simply say "I'm sorry you're frustrated but it's time to go". or "I'm sorry you don't feel like your piece of pizza is big enough" or I'm sorry you don't like the way your picture turned out" or "I'm sorry you don't think you're good at cartwheels" etc...
I've stopped giving the negativity any value at all. I just say I'm sorry about that and move on.
Hey that is great advice. I'm going to try it. Neutralizing the negatives and encouraging the positives makes sense to me. DS is 3.5 but has just started this complaining in the last few months. I know what you mean crl about him making the whole thing seem like no fun at all, so why even bother? Ugh! But I also think my DS can't yet grasp that concept.
We like to offer choices a lot "you can play with Legos OR GeoMags after lunch" but that doesn't always stop the whining and complaining. With whining, we just keep saying "I can't understand you when you whine. I will be happy to listen to what you say when you talk normally." Repeat until he talks normally. Ending the whining also tends to cool down the complaints, or at least make them calm enough to discuss rationally.
If it is a small complaint, I try to offer an alternative. If there is no "good" alternative, I just explain why it is that way to help him accept the decision. If he is totally out of hand, and I can not calm him, I get tough frankly. I think consequences are a good way to show that he can decide his behaviour, but it has consequences. For example, if he is hysterical about XYZ, I get his attention and give a warning, "If you can not share xyz, then you can not have any at all." If he continues, then that is it - there is no XYZ.... and I take it away. He then gets more upset and I get his attention and explain that I told him if he didn't share then he can't have any, and he didn't and that is why. When he calms down and asks for XYZ, I say very gently that no, not any more today, but we can do ABC or DEF ....instead, and start something fresh.