Why does a child whine?
There must be a reason either a very poor one or a fairly good one. Perhaps it is a matter of health or it may be a bad habit. Possibly it comes because of contact with another whining child, or maybe the contact is with some older person who is irritable. Children are sometimes observed to whine in school who never think of whining at home, and vice versa.
Sometimes the desire of the children for attention brings about this condition. The child who has been petted and pampered and has received the personal attention of the whole family does not easily give up the position of honour. Some children live on the attention they receive from others, and if they can get it in no other way, they frequently get it by being disagreeable. Sometimes they try to gain favours by being persistent in drawing attention to themselves and their wants.
Effect of stimulating drinks
Sometimes the child does not have enough sleep; he is allowed to sit up late at night. Perhaps he is allowed to drink tea, coffee, or thick cocoa. Children should not use stimulating drinks. Eating sweets and rich, highly spiced, or poorly cooked foods will make the child irritable and whiny. Ill-fitting clothing is uncomfortable and is therefore very irritating to a child.
Determine the cause and remove it.
Consider first of all whether or not the care he is receiving is the care that will make for his health and happiness. Take away stimulating drinks and irritating foods. See that he has a variety of nutritious foods. He should get all the elements for proper nourishment.
Much exercise in the sunshine and air is valuable to any child, especially the nervous, fussy, whiny one.
Do not forget that much sleep is necessary to his well being-from ten to fifteen hours, varying with his age. Some parents are very neglectful in this respect, and the result is irritable, sickly child.
It may be necessary to take the child to a physician, as there may be some irritation or infection which the parent is unable to discover, but usually the cause can be found by the parent if he puts himself thoughtfully to the task.
Discourage whining making it ineffective
Never under any circumstances let a child old enough to ask for what he needs and gain anything by whining. If he is entirely unsuccessful in his efforts, he will probably cease the use of this method of trying to gain his point. It is hardly to be expected, however, that he will be cured with one effort or two; if he has succeeded heretofore in attaining his end, he will make several trials, probably many before he gives up.
Does he think he is having a hard time? Probably he does. It is well to take him to see someone who is vastly worse off than he is so that he may by contrast realize his many blessings. Give him a chance to do something for those in a worse condition than himself.
Doing for others gladdens the heart
Get the child to sing or whistle, and you sing and whistle with him. The more sunshiny his surroundings, the less he will be inclined to whine.
Tell the child stories that will take his mind from himself.
Ways with the child who whines
Since children are good imitators, be sure to give the whiners some opportunity for play with children who do not whine. Then if he gets some hard rubs from his companions, don't spoil the good he may receive from them by sympathizing and letting him feel that the other children have wronged him. Quite likely the others may leave him out of their fun and seem to prefer company of someone else. Make it clear that no one cares to play with a whinner, but that everybody likes sunshiny folk, and he must try to make others happy by being cheerful.
Well poised parents
Let the parents make sure that they themselves are well poised. The well poised parent usually does not have a whining child.
Whining is only a habit, and like other bad habits, can be broken, and a contrasting good habit substituted.
Why does a child whine?