C.J. asks from Jacksonville, FL on October 20, 2006
Whining 10 Year Old
I have a son who is 10 who still whines alot. He whines over everything from not getting his way to taking a shower. He will be in middle school next year so this has to stop. He is picked on by other kids at school for this and he still wont stop whining! Any suggestions? Thanks C. J.
So What Happened?™
I took stephanie c.'s advice and toldhim that if he comes to me whining then I was not going to answer or help him unless he comes to me in a proper voice. He whined that he was not whining. SO I just turned my head and ignored him. He whines for a few minuets then stoped, waited afew seconds and then changed his voice and talked to me properly. SO it worked well... and over the summer and the rest of the school year I am really going to work on it. So thanks Stefanie... : ) No one whines in my house except for him so no he is not getting it from his brother or anyone else. i Think think that carolyn J. has a good point to... He may need more individual time expecailly being a middle child. I know what his fears are and that is that people pick on him at school really bad! But I tell him to change his bad habits and that doesnt work but I think you two may have hit the nail on the head.
Thanks C. J.
B.C. answers from Pensacola on October 21, 2006
While i don't have a teen yet. my son is only 19 mnths. i will one day have one. And my advice is this. when he whines, ignore him. donnot answer him, or give in ot what he wants. tell him he is an preteen now, and it is time to put some things aside. whining is not gonna get him his way. by not giving into his whining, he will soon learn that it has lost it's desired effect and will stop
If he whines about taking a shower, tell him. "ok you're old enough to take a shower on your own. So, you can go take a shower or you can stink, the choice is yours." believe me a few days of not smelling really good, and he will go take a shower. Also, If he is whinign caue he's not getting his way or at hte store cause you won't get hima toy. tell him simply "that will not get you your way" and leave it at that. I am starting that now with my son. When we are at the store, we do go through the toy aisle, and i will let him play. but when it's time to go and continue shopping, i make him put back the toy he is playing with and we leave. If he whines or throws a tanturam, i simply say "That's not going to get you your way." and leave it iat that. I don't give in, and eventally, sooner rather than later, he stops his whining and moves on. Kids have to learn there are limits, and that they can't have everything or their way all the time. by setting limits he understands his role in life, and he will be greatful for those limits. ALso, by giving him a choice in how he handles the negetive (or what he sees as a negetive) this helps him to branch out on his independance, and show him that he is responsible for his own feelings, body, things, etc.
C.J. answers from Tampa on October 20, 2006
Hi C. -
There's an old wive's tale that says a child develops his/her general personality traits at age five and after age seven, it's very difficult and nearly impossible for him/her to change the bad habits.
I certainly don't subscribe to that belief, but in my own personal experience with my younger brother, who's now 30, he was a colicky baby, a whiny toddler, an ornery teen, and a VERY moody adult. My father is very similar in nature, so I'm sure my brother picked up on a lot of bad habits just from being exposed to it in his environment. Is there any one in your household who's whiny? Does your eight-year old whine? If so, maybe your son thinks whining is the best way to get his point across. I don't know how much control parents really have over their kids' personalities, so it's almost a wait and see kind of thing. While I have some pretty serious jerks in my family, my husband's family has quite a few complainers, so to some degree, I have to wonder if bad behavior is not just learned and developed, but inherited too.
Of course, your son's whining at ten-years old is a behavior issue, which needs to be addressed with strict discipline. I wouldn't necessarily advocate spanking him at his age, however, taking away things he likes and/or special privileges will really wake himself up to the reality that you're not willing to put up with his bad behavior any longer. Giving him extra chores like raking the leaves, washing the car, and other things that would seem detestable to him may work too.
Another method that I used when I had to manage 80 teenagers, who bagged groceries at a military commissary was to make them offer me a solution to their "problem" BEFORE coming to me. If they came to me with a whine, complaint, tattle, etc., I would only hear them out if they provided a solution. I made sure that they knew I wasn't obligated to employ their solutions, but at least they knew I would listen to their issues, which is mostly what they wanted anyway. Getting them to come up with solutions encourages them to use their minds in a more proactive than a reactive way. Speaking of being proactive, maybe you can take him out on his own, and spend some time getting to really know him at this age. Even though everything seems to be going fine at school and in his life in general, maybe he has some fears and anxieties that he doesn't really know how to express.
Like I mentioned before, only time will tell. Hopefully, your son will develop the presence of mind to realize that he can catch more bees with honey than with vinegar.
Blessings to you and yours!
B.B. answers from Jacksonville on October 20, 2006
I think one of your big problems is that you let his whinning go on this long. You should have nipped this behavior in the butt when he was younger, now it is going to be very difficult to change. What I would advise is to ignore him when he whines and not let him get what he wants. Let him know that if he can't ask for something in an approate way that he isn't going to get it. Never give into his whinning. When he does ask for something in a nice way without whinning or protests over having to do something without whinning then reward him and let him now that is how you express your feelings not with whinning. I don't think changing this behavior is going to be easy because since he is so old -it will be hard and take a lot of time and patience on your end but I definately think it can be changed and needs to be before he turns into a whinning adult. Good luck and you will need alot of patience.
A.S. answers from Sarasota on October 24, 2006
Have you tried a responsibility chart? I use one for my son who is six. I have been using it since he was 4 1/2. One of the "buttons" is "no whining". He used to be a whiner and rarely whines now. On an occational bad day he will lose his "no whining button" for the day, but it happens rarely. He earns special things for getting 85% of his buttons for the week in all categories. It improved his behavior in all areas. It takes a big effort on your part to keep up with it and stick to it, but it is well worth it in my opinion. Good Luck!
S.C. answers from Jacksonville on October 20, 2006
with my 5 year old i told him that i can't understand "whining".i told him if you want or need something you have to ask without whining or i not gonna even hear him.so whenever he uses that whiney tone i just ignore him til he uses a regular tone.it seems to help most of the time.