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Character Building Tips For Parents of Kids Who Whine

By Jean Tracy, MSS

If your kids whine, and drive you crazy, are your nerves raw with irritation? I know whining is one of the worst sounds ever. If you want relief and want to build character too, read on.

Imagine your child whining. Hear her squeaky tone. See her droopy pitiful face. Feel the guilt for not making her life perfect. Then read this story to your family with that background in mind. Ask the questions too.

A Character Building Story to Curb Whining Problems:

Princess told herself, ‘Robbie always gets what he wants. Mom loves him more than me. I never get anything I want.'

Her thoughts filled her heart with sadness as she rode to the Party Store. Her mother was tight for time. As they hurried to pick up Star Wars birthday plates and napkins for 5-year-old Robbie's party, Princess cried, "I want these balloons!"

"No," said Mrs. Jones.

"You give Robbie everything. I never get anything."

Mrs. Jones stared at her daughter and paid the cashier.

As they left the store, Princess dragged her feet. She walked so slowly that Mrs. Jones had fastened her seat belt and was waiting for Jessica to reach the car.

Mrs. Jones saw her daughter's droopy frown and the familiar crease between her eyes. Princess glanced at her mother knowing her mom would go back to get the balloons.

"Oh all right!"sighed her mother as she turned off the engine. She unbuckled her seat belt and headed back to the store.

Discussion Questions for Your Family Conversation:

1. If you were Mrs. Jones, what would you do?

2. How do you feel when you hear kids whine?

3. What advice would you give to whiners?

Action Steps to Curb the Whining:

Later, talk privately to your whiner. Find out if she is willing to give up the whiny voice. Ask her to role play a confident voice. Help her make a plan.

The Character Building Plan:

1. Look your child in the eyes and listen to her ideas first.

2. Choose her ideas if they sound workable.

4. Say, "When you use a pleasant confident voice, I'll listen."

5. Let her know she won't get anything when she whines.

6. Don't feel guilty if she continues to whine.

7. Be true to your word and don't give in.

8. Compliment her confident voice, "I'm listening because I like your voice."

Conclusion for Building Character in Kids Who Whine:

It's so hard for some parents to follow through and ignore the whining. It scratches their nerves raw and drives them crazy. They just want it to stop so they give in.

Their children keep whining because they've developed the bad habit of feeling sorry for themselves. They learn that whining works because it gives them what they want.

If parents give in to whining, they're guaranteeing the whining will get worse. Listen, I know getting long term whiners to stop takes lots of ignoring and lots of patience. I also know it can be done.

Use stories to help kids change because children remember stories. They won't want to be like Princess in this story. Make a plan together to stop the whining.

When your kids learn to speak in a confident straight forward voice, they won't be whining any more. Instead, they'll feel confident good about themselves. They'll be building character too.


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