My kids are whiny quitters! - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 12 Old 06-14-2008, 06:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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They whine all day long and when I ask them to do stuff they always say "I can't", even though I know they can. This is driving me absolutely nuts!

I tell them i dont understand whinese and they ask me right. but all day they whine whether they are talking to me or not. they never want to try anything new. they never want to make an effort at anything.

yes this includes the 12 yr old too. mostly it is the 4 and 5 yr old. i dont want them teaching the baby to be like this too. she already whines and clings all the time.

i cant get a moments peace except when they are sleeping or playing outside.

what do you do to deal with these issues?

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 Living with Fructose Malabsorption Syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Type 3-Hypermobility.
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#2 of 12 Old 06-14-2008, 06:34 PM
 
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I don't know if this will still work, but giving them options stemming from the original issue helped here:

You need to put your shoes on. Do you want to wear your sandals or sneakers.

You need to put your plate in the kitchen. It can go on the counter or in the sink.


and so on. It's just so matter of fact, there's no asking, there's just stating the next step. And if there's still "I can't!", then a matter of fact 'why?' or "okay, do you need me to walk you through it?" Not easy to do when you have more than one clammering for your attention, but after a few times it tends to work, especially followed by noticing when they do get it done by themselves. "Look at that! You found a solution! The stepstool gets you high enough to put your plate in the sink!"
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#3 of 12 Old 06-14-2008, 07:50 PM
 
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On the whiny, I just let them finish speaking and then ask them to repeat it in a regular voice so I can understand what they are saying. I know that sounds simple but it works for us. I agree w/pp about giving choices of this or that rather than yes or no. It work well for us also.

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#4 of 12 Old 06-14-2008, 10:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by LilyGrace View Post
I don't know if this will still work, but giving them options stemming from the original issue helped here:

You need to put your shoes on. Do you want to wear your sandals or sneakers.

You need to put your plate in the kitchen. It can go on the counter or in the sink.


and so on. It's just so matter of fact, there's no asking, there's just stating the next step. And if there's still "I can't!", then a matter of fact 'why?' or "okay, do you need me to walk you through it?" Not easy to do when you have more than one clammering for your attention, but after a few times it tends to work, especially followed by noticing when they do get it done by themselves. "Look at that! You found a solution! The stepstool gets you high enough to put your plate in the sink!"
this usually gets me a look of disdain. and then they whine about having to put the stepstool away. eventually they do it but it took like 30 min longer than it should. i do not give in to the whining so i dont know what they are getting from it.

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#5 of 12 Old 06-14-2008, 10:35 PM
 
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My older daughter gets offended if you suggest she is using a whiny voice, then launches into a tirade about it. And she is just not good about trying new things, and has this "I caaaaaaaaaaan't" attitude right from the get-go. My 4 year old is better about trying new things, but won't do anything she doesn't want to do. So no advice here, but I feel for you.
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#6 of 12 Old 06-15-2008, 10:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i wish i knew why they do it though. i try to make sure they get enough but not too much rest to help improve their mood. i dont feed them very much sugar. i give them healthy snack choices. i give them choices as to what they want to wear (within reason- we read the weather every morning together and i tell them what type of clothing to wear). maybe they need more structured play time with me?

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#7 of 12 Old 06-16-2008, 12:10 AM
 
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I have NO advice, because I am in the same boat as you. It's driving me crazy. My son is extra clingy on top of it which makes it even harder.
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#8 of 12 Old 06-16-2008, 03:07 AM
 
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Some mostly random thoughts here.

First, when my kids go through a whiny phase, it's almost always traceable to:
1. Illness
2. Lack of sleep
3. General overall stress in our lives. In particular, the more busy I am with work, the more whiny they become.

I can't do much about 1 and 3 sometimes. But we have, over the last 2-3 days, begun putting the kids to bed earlier. They're outside more, and using up a lot of energy. Ds practically fell asleep at the dinner table today! That translates into a lot of whining in the late afternoon/early evening.

So, I'd look at sleep and at the stress in your lives. Is there a way to address either of those?

Second, I found the book "The 5 Love Languages of Children" really helped my understanding of why my children (well, my older child really) was so "helpless." The book describes 5 'love languages' -- touch, gifts, words, time/attention, and acts of service. When I read that, it was like a light bulb went off in my head. THAT'S why ds asked me to get him dressed until he was well over 5. THAT'S why he gets all cranky when I don't have time to help him find things. One of his major love languages is: ACTS OF SERVICE. He feels loved when I do things for him. AND he feels unloved when I refuse. (His other love language is time/attention, so it's a really doozy of a combo!)

Third, the book Playful Parenting talks about kids needing their 'cup of attention' filled. And if they're aren't getting it filled, they will do a lot of things to drive us nuts to make us pay attention to them.

I know this is true because I run my own "controlled experiment" every 10-11 weeks. I'm a professor. At the end of each term, I have a crazy-busy week trying to get all my papers graded, grades turned in, etc. In the spring term (i.e. this week) it's worse because we have end of the year meetings and commencement that eat up more of my time. Guess what? By Sunday (that would be today) my kids are alternately bouncing off the walls and whining so much it's like fingernails on a chalkboard! I can 'live with it' because I know that after Tuesday at 5 pm, I'll have more time for them.

Now, what I don't know is how on earth you're going to find enough time to pay attention to 4 kids (12, 5, 4, and 1)! Can you work with your dh so that each child gets at least an hour of one-on-one time with one of you a week?

Another thing that Playful Parenting has helped me do is to be more playful and not so serious when dealing with these kinds of things. Some days it's a choice between my screaming or bursting out "oh no! We've got an attack of the whineys! What are we going to do? Look T has it! M has it! Do I have it??!! Oh my gosh, I do! I'm sitting her whining too! What can we do about this?"

Once I actually declared "whining time" where I wouldn't do anything for the kids unless they whined at me for it. Do you have any idea how hard it is to whine while laughing? If they'd ask me normally I'd say "Oh no, I'm sorry. You didn't whine. I can't do that for you." I think we did this for about an hour. Not only did it lighten the mood, but I think it helped them think consciously about modulating their voices.

Finally, make sure you aren't inadvertently reinforcing it. I know that when my kids start to whine about a lot of things, it's often because I'm not giving them my full attention when they're talking to me, and so I don't hear the first 2-3 times they ask. This is, alas, teaching them to keep whining. Ds (7) is now old enough that I can tell him "please wait until I respond. If I don't, please get my attention by touching me gently."

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#9 of 12 Old 06-16-2008, 09:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
Some mostly random thoughts here.



Second, I found the book "The 5 Love Languages of Children" really helped my understanding of why my children (well, my older child really) was so "helpless." The book describes 5 'love languages' -- touch, gifts, words, time/attention, and acts of service. When I read that, it was like a light bulb went off in my head. THAT'S why ds asked me to get him dressed until he was well over 5. THAT'S why he gets all cranky when I don't have time to help him find things. One of his major love languages is: ACTS OF SERVICE. He feels loved when I do things for him. AND he feels unloved when I refuse. (His other love language is time/attention, so it's a really doozy of a combo!)
i'm having similar issues with my 5 yo dd, and i'd love to check this out. My best friend has raved about the same book- but for marriages. Is it the same author? she said is literally has turned her marriage around. I would love the same effect on things with my dd right now. sigh. she and her dad are visiting gp's for the next 5 days, leaving me and ds at home. I'm looking forward to the break. I adore her but her whining and attitude and badgering to be picked up and can't do this (like walk from one room to another) or that or pick up a toy or 2 is maddening.

I am a homeopath, offering acute and constitutional consultations for children, babies, and parents. Long-distance treatment is easy, either phone or skype! I also am certified to offer Homeoprophylaxis, a vaccine-alternative program. Message me for more details. www.concentrichealing.com
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#10 of 12 Old 06-22-2008, 02:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DH is much better at getting them to do things. i dont think they believe me when i tell them they can do something, but they believe him. i did check out the book "how to talk so your kids will listen". it is really good so far. and the whining slowed down a little.
i just gotta stay positive and not follow them down the whiny path. that wouldnt help any of us.

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#11 of 12 Old 06-22-2008, 05:34 PM
 
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maybe they need more structured play time with me?
I have found very little annoying behavior that isn't helped by this very thing. In fact, a little UNstructured playtime makes it all the better. When I make REGULAR time to play with DS, and better, let DS be in charge of the play? Things in our household change rapidly. DS feels better and so goes his behavior.

Also, when DS is reticent to try anything new, do anything I ask... sometimes I just stop presenting new things and stop asking him to do things. Just out and out, give him (and me) a break with the struggle. Usually, when he's feeling this way it's sign that he needs to attach, and go inward, emerge when he's feeling the instinct to do so. So instead of presenting something new, I might plop down and play beside him and join whatever he's doing. This aids our attachment and his solitary creativity. As to doing things around the house, I might pamper him for a bit, be more attentive. Also, I allow him to see me doing my chores around the house happily (without complaint which isn't always easy ). Usually it's not long before his natural need to be useful tends to kick in on it's own... once he's feeling good.

The best and hang in there, mama. This sounds like a really hard situation. Very draining for you... I hope you find some solutions that help.

The best,
Em

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#12 of 12 Old 06-25-2008, 01:07 AM
 
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Great post LynnS6


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