How to halt the dreaded whining

Filed under: Development/Milestones: Babies

Nolan is at my favourite stage yet. I know I keep saying it, but seriously this is really it: his eyes sparkle with mischief, his chubby hands still hold wisps of baby and yet he can tell me about the ball in his pockich, the fact that he is interested in a 'nack of frozen raspberries and cheese. He gives spontaneous hugs and retains all the sweetness of babyhood with the bonus of defined, amazing personality. I am smitten.

Except. I cannot stand the whining. It makes the little wisps of hair on the back of my arms stand up, it's worse than nails on a chalkboard, sneakers and fannypacks and dear god, even that awful man behind Girls Gone Wild. There is something about the tone and the pitch of a whine that makes focusing on other things totally impossible. I have tried to ignore it, attempted to divert it, and recently, I have mocked it.

My Mom tells me (in her gentle, placid way) that it is in no way reasonable for a 32-year-old woman to whine back at her not-quite-two year old in an effort to make him to stop. But yesterday when I squawked right back at Nolan after he had a violent meltdown regarding my trying to take his wet sock off, he stopped. He looked at me curiously as the tears dried on his face. And then he stopped whinging, totally, and gave me a hug.

"I know, " I told him,"It doesn't sound nice, does it? No whining, OK? Normal talking only."

I am almost ashamed to write this, because I know that smarter parents than I will give me a shopping list of reasons why adult whining does not effectively combat toddler whining. But it gave me a brief respite from the agony, and though I'll try not to use this technique again, I can't promise.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.