First Friday Q&A: What to Do About the Whining and Complaining…

A tricky question from a reader asks what to do about an emotional three year old who prefers crying over trying.  The video can also be found on YouTube.

Resources:

Knowing your “Hot Button Issues”

Evolution of a Mama Tantrum and How to Stop One {Creative with Kids}

Overcoming Helplessness

Sara Won’t Try {Early Childhood News}

Teaching Kids Persistence {Play Fight Repeat}

Teaching Social Skills

Teaching Social Skills: Can I Play? {NJC}

Teaching Social Skills with Bubble Lessons {NJC}

Parenting Preschoolers: A Starting Place for Social Grace {NJC}

Showing Empathy

A Toddler’s Point of View {Regarding Baby}

What thoughts and/or resources could you share?  I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

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6 Comments

Filed under Positive Guidance and Social Skills

6 Responses to First Friday Q&A: What to Do About the Whining and Complaining…

  1. Robin

    As a former preschool teacher and a nanny, I get hear one A LOT! I start by rephrasing the statement, “It sounds like something is really tricky about what you’re doing. If you need some help, can you ask me in a kind voice?” That usually changes the whiny “I can’t do it,” into a (hopefully less whiny) “I need help.” Then, in a SUPER positive voice I respond, “Okay! What can I help you with?” That helps them to identify exactly WHAT is so hard in the first place. Then I assess the hard part and see if it really is too challenging and how I can simplify it or offer different approaches. If the whining continues, we take a break (sometimes a change of scenery or a little physical activity helps re-activate the brain!) and come back with renewed energy and hopefully a better attitude.

  2. This is perfectly timed for our family! It seems the new year has brought us a new child (literally and figuratively) and our 4 year old’s whining is driving us up the wall! Thank you for the tools!

  3. I really enjoyed this video! I especially appreciate the reminders to kids (and for teachers and parents to remind kids!) that it’s ok to make mistakes and to give kids more choices. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized that I’m allowed to make mistakes because I’m still learning things. This is something I work hard to reinforce at home. Looking forward to seeing more First Fridays!

  4. I have felt that if its a hot button issue its a good idea to not deal with it rationally, just HUG the kid and say “oh yes sure you can do it”and then offer to help or walk away. I think what happens in that case is that we get so ticked off by kids like that that our annoyance shows which makes the child even more annoying. A child like this probably doesn’t get a lot of love at home and may be acting that way to get attention. So give it to him/her.

    • notjustcute

      Such a great point! I had a friend once say that if you don’t know what else to do, just open your arms and most of the time the kids will come right in for a hug. I’ve tried it with my own boys and it’s true. It really is therapeutic for both of us. Thanks for the reminder! That is a great tip for hot button issues.

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