90% of the noises kids make from 6+ months are whining, not crying.
When your child is whining please don't run to theIr every whim and offer your best consoling. Let's all start to teach our children to solve their own problems whenever possible. It might sound like they are crying, but they are really just whining loudly with an additional wail for dramatic effect.
How do we deal with the whining without going crazy?
Kids whine for so many reasons it's hard to differentiate between when they really need your attention and when they need to figure out how to deal with their own problems.
An older baby, let's say 8-18 months is definitely limited in his ability to be self sufficient, but that doesn't mean he would not benefit from a small degree of struggle. Ignoring your child's whining can actually do him some good.
If your kid is crying because her older sibling just whacked her over the head with a Tonka truck, please comfort her and acknowledge the pain she is probably feeling from being hit with a blunt object. On the other hand, if your child is playing happily and then starts to cry, maybe he is just bored. Give the child a chance to self direct a new activity. Or distract him with another toy or song without coddling him with affection.
Try not to use technology to stop the whining. Children need to learn to play without the distraction of technology. Tv, gaming, social media, YouTube, these are easy forms of entertainment. Build a model airplane, dig a hole, or ride a bike; this is the hard kind. Creative play is so important for developing young brains. It's harder to do this kind of play, but we must require our children to stay off the electronics and I assure you, it will happen.
Its okay to kids turn off their devices, on your terms, even if the show or game is not over. If your child was an employee at a Fortune 500 company and his boss asked him to complete a project for the company immediately, the boss doesn't want said employee to start the project after he is finished answering his emails and posting on Instagram. This type of behavior is unsatisfactory, as parents we are creating a generation of unemployable young people when we are being too permissive.
Every kid knows how to do some parental manipulation.
When your child is whining, please acknowledge their feelings and let them know that it's okay to be angry/sad/frustrated. But teach your child to overcome their struggles and face each roadblock with persistence and determination. It's okay to struggle to solve a problem. It's okay to ask for help. It's not okay to cry and whine and expect someone else to solve your problems for you.
Take advantage of any opportunity to give your child affection and attention when they are behaving well. Your child needs your love and attention, but he or she does not need to be rewarded for undesirable behavior. Try to ignore the whining, or better yet, be firm about disciplining the unwanted noise. Ignore the cries for help and see if they can be resolved by the child without you ( the parent) wiping away the tears.
So what does your child have to gain from a little tough love. He or she will learn to express his needs with words rather than tears. He will learn that what he or she wants is dependent on how he or she acts. He will learn self discipline and perseverance. He might also continue to act completely irrational. So let's band together as parents and ignore the whining. If you catch yourself laughing at how ridiculous your child is acting, you are probably doing an okay job at this whole parenting thing!
Picture Featured: reasonsmysoniscrying.com
Thanks for reading!
Read more from Caitlin at traditionalfoodsmodernlife.com