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How to Stop Your Child’s Whining in Ten Minutes

Published on June 13, 2014 by   ·   149 Comments Pin It
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‘Now when my daughter old starts whining, I hold her. Sometimes it takes ten minutes, but then she tells me when she’s done, and goes off. It seems to ground her. It grounds me, too.” — Kelly

Whining can drive any parent crazy. It’s tempting to tell them we can’t listen until they use a more grown-up voice. But kids aren’t grown-ups, and their whining is a plea for help. Quite simply, children whine when they’re overwhelmed. They need to borrow our calm love so they can self-regulate.

Kelly put it beautifully — when we reach out to hold a whining child, we really are like a lightning rod, helping our child to ground herself. Once she’s restored to a state of balance and well-being, she no longer needs to whine.

Ten minutes can seem like a big investment of time when we’re rushing to get something done.  But if you don’t take this time to address the root of the whining, your child will almost certainly still be whining in ten minutes. So you can spend this ten minutes peacefully, or feeling irritable.  Besides, by the end of the day will you even remember what you were rushing to do? Whereas, if you have a negative interaction with your child, she carries it with her all day, and even into the next.

This ten minutes will:

1. Help your child restore her sense of inner balance in this moment so she no longer needs to whine.

2. Help your child learn how to restore his own balance in the future, when you aren’t around to help.

3. Teach your child that we can always find our own inner well-being by reconnecting with ourselves in the present moment. When we don’t learn this, we tend to look instead to food, alcohol, technology, etc to regulate our inner state.

4. Refill your child’s cup so the rest of his day unfolds happily.

5. Help her cry, if that’s what she really needs to do. That’s a good thing. After she cries, she’ll feel so much better, which means you’ll have a better day, too!

6. Help him empty his backpack so he’s less anxious, more flexible, and more joyful.

7. Strengthen your relationship with your child. That’s what restores the joy to parenting!

8. Help your child know you’re on her side which makes her much more likely to cooperate, to trust you, and to tell you the truth.

9. Strengthen your empathy for your child, which is what helps you raise an emotionally intelligent child.

10. Ground yourself. Think of it as enforced meditation.

Now, that’s what I call ten minutes well-spent. In fact, even if your child isn’t whining, you may want to initiate a long snuggle!

Choose love.

May you make miracles today, large and small.

Dr. Laura Markham is the author of Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How To Stop Yelling and Start Connecting.To get Dr Laura’s parenting tips right in your email inbox; sign up: AhaParenting.com.

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