Why Children Whine and What Parents Can Do to Help Their Children to Communicate Better Holt Boyd Podcast

Weekly Radio Show Thursdays at 12:35 PM on KBRX, 102.9 FM.

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Why Children Whine and What Parents Can Do to Help Their Children to Communicate Better Holt Boyd Podcast

Fit and Healthy Kids - An Early Childhood Podcast (with music).

(LaDonna Werth) - Hello from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. This is LaDonna Werth and Lisa Poppe - Extension Educators in the field of Early Childhood. We are here to talk about the littles in your life. In our field we hear from parents all the time about how frustrated they are with their children whining. Lisa can you help us understand why do children whine!

(Lisa Poppe) - Well, there are few behaviors that are more frustrating to parents than whining. Yet for children, whining can be a quick and easy way to get a parent’s full attention. Children whine when they feel overwhelmed by an emotion or desire or they don't have the vocabulary to express their feelings. They also might whine when they do not have the skills to complete a task or because they feel tired, or maybe their hungry, or lonely. Just remember, children whine to ask for help. You can help your child figure out WHY he is whining and help him to find a better way to communicate.

(LaDonna Werth) - So let’s talk a little bit more about how we can help our children to stop that whining process.

(Lisa Poppe) - Well, your child will continue to whine until you teach him a new skill. So, when you give into that whine for candy at the check-out counter, you are teaching him that his whining behavior is working and he should use it again. When you take away your son’s favorite toy because he won’t stop whining, you increase his feelings of insecurity and actually also increase the likelihood that he will whine more often. Instead, you can teach him to use his words to tell you about his feelings and, together, you can come up with a way to solve his problem.

(LaDonna Werth) - Lisa can you give us a tip to help our children to stop whining.

(Lisa Poppe) - Sure, teach your child that his needs get met when he uses his words. If he is whining for milk, tell him, “You can say, daddy, milk please. ”When he uses those words, follow up by saying, “Of course, I will get you your milk! Thank you for using your words!” And remember if your child often whines when she is tired, consider running errands before or after her nap time, when she is rested.

(LaDonna Werth) - So Lisa, what is the bottom line of why children do whine?

(Lisa Poppe) - Well whining is a common way for your child to tell you that she needs help. Until she learns a new way to get your attention, she will likely continue to whine. You can teach and show your child how to use her words to clearly express her needs. Children who are confident talking about their emotions and feel heard by their parents are less like to whine.

This has been LaDonna and Lisa with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Until next time enjoy your family time together.

Fit and Health Kids is a co-production of Nebraska Extension, Georgia Extension, Kansas State Extension, South Dakota State Extension and the Iowa Childcare Resource and Referral (with music).