Wednesday, December 29, 2010

How can I get this child to stop whining?

Ms. Dorothy,
_______ can speak in broken sentences, but often when he wants something he whines and does not use his words. His mom and dad and I don't all agree on how to handle the whining. He often winds up in a full tantrum to get what he wants. What steps can we take to strengthen his verbalization and curb the whining?
- Day Care Provider

The first step you will need to take, is to sit down with the parents and get some agreement about what you are going to do to help him grow.
Consistency is essential if you are trying to encourage one behavior and discourage another.

This child needs to know that his needs will be met. If he believes that the world is a safe and consistent place, he is more likely to relax and trust that a problem isn't forever, and that there is something he can do to get his problems solved.

The adults in his life also need to understand that he will speak to communicate one day, but not necessarily on their time-tables. And that is okay.

Talk to him more. Talk about what you are doing as you go about your day. Remain calm and clear in your conversations with him so that he sees a good example.

If the adults relax and work together, the reduction in stress alone may translate into more talking and less whining.

1 comment:

  1. I think talking is key, as well. I think reinforced modeling of language that initiated his whining could be helpful, too. For example, if he was whining when he wanted milk to tell him, "Oh... you want milk."
    My favorite part is about collaboration! Great thoughts, Ms. Dorothy!