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How to stop children’s whining

May 16, 2012

Here’s a great idea…

In his book, The 10 Basic Principles of Good Parenting, Laurence Steinberg says, “Some parents give in all the time because it is easier to do this than to deal with their child’s resistance when a rule is being enforced…Your child learns that if he cries, whines, nags, sulks, or argues enough, you will eventually give in. This is going to make him cry, whine, nag, sulk, and argue more.” (p. 91)

In other words…

Children test us to see how serious we are about the rules we make. When they discover the formula that causes us to give in, they take advantage of it. This teaches them that rules are not meaningful and we parents are not serious. If they find that tactics of manipulation don’t work, they will stop using them.

Here’s how you can use this idea to have a better life…

When you make a rule or give a directive, take time to make sure your child does it. You might even offer to help. If you tell your child you will not buy a candy bar to be eaten in the grocery store, don’t give in. Show that you mean what you say! Make only rules you care enough about to enforce. Then enforce them consistently. Your child will learn to respect reasonable rules.

To find out more…

about parenting, check out The Parenting Journey or See the World Through My Eyes programs at arfamilies.org, follow us at facebook.com/navigatinglife or contact your local county Extension agent. You can also read The 10 Basic Principles of Good Parenting.

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