I have a 4yr old, he has just started his first year in school and from what I can gather he isn't hating it which is good. He is tired but apart from putting him to bed at 6:30pm I am not sure what I can do about that.
However from the moment I pick him up from school until he goes to bed everything is a whine or a moan or a cry. EVERYTHING We walk home from school when it's dry, it's less than a mile, he whines the whole way home he wants to be in the car. I try asking him how his day was, I try playing games, I try discussing what fun things we will do when we get home. All he seems to WANT to do is whine.
Even something like asking for a drink of water, which I have never refused him, is asked for in a whine.
Whilst we don't throw luxuries and toys at him he has a good standard of living. I work VERY part-time and the hours do not interfere with any of his time.
I know 4yr olds whine and apparently for other people he is all sweetness, light (even if a touch needy) and well mannered which is good.
His younger sister isn't sleeping great so I am exhausted and I just can't continue to listen to this non stop whine it is driving me to wine and chocolate! It's not like his sister gets more attention, most activities are centred around his wants\needs not hers.
Short of buying ear defenders I just don't know what to do. I just want to shout at him "JUST STOP WHINING" (which I have done once or twice which is why I need to find another way).
If I don't engage in whining it escalates to moaning and then to crying, whatever the subject. If I put the TV on for 20 minutes then when I turned it off the whining would start. I am not against TV by the way, probably use it more than I should, sometimes I wonder if that's the problem.
I do agree it is partly tiredness and I honestly wouldn't mind him having an after school nap and a later bedtime if it stopped the whining. I have even considered buying a buggy board so he could stand on it on the way home (but he's 4 and large for his age so walking home a mile shouldn't be difficult and would be a nightmare for me with him on a buggyboard). How can I make him nap after school tho?
Sorry I am being so negative. I know there is no magical solution.
You have my sympathies as the parent of an A* whiner.
Starting school is really tiring when you are 4, having to behave and follow instructions is mentally and physically exhausting for the little bods. Now hold on to any feeling of empathy that previous sentence might have produced and channel them when you really want to yell "For god's sake give it a rest!"
Ignoring my whiner didn't make seem to help, she just increased volume and pitch, until even the local dogs were complaining. Agree with Cybbo about making a joke about it. If they are set on the course of having a right whine, they like to try and complete it, but can be distracted through joking when they realise how silly they sound or you've made them laugh with your tale of woe which trumps theirs.
I go into jolly mode, its really irritating ( according to my eldest Dd but she does it now as well!) but I just carry on like a cheery Mary Poppins on drugs and eventually my whiner gives in. Some days it takes longer to wear her down than others but now, when I'm in the role I can channel Mary for ages. ( please be aware that channelling Mary can result in repressing strong emotions which might escape at some future date or a strong dependancy on alcohol of an evening)
Maybe having a slob in front of tv time when he first gets home might be helpful, half an hour where he can zombie out, you get a brief break and he gets a chance to recharge, but yes he'll whine when its switched off. Then when he's got used to that and is still indulging in a whine fest when its time to switch off, I would start taking time off for major whinging. 1 minute off tv time, first day, 2 mins second consecutive day of whinging etc, always going back to 0 when he doesn't whine about the tv being switched off.
I also concentrate on thinking of song lyrics in my head during the whining, to prevent myself saying anything I might regret.
Good luck, having a whiner is like having given birth to your own torturer, twisting the thumb screws on your last bit of sanity.
Thank you for your replies, it's giving me some ideas.
I think we need some house rules put up just so everyone knows what is going to happen (including me and DH!) things such as 1) If anyone whines you will be asked to talk properly 2) If anyone shouts they will be ignored 3) 30mins of TV will be allowed post school if rules 1 & 2 are followed!
and then stick to them! I find as the afternoon goes on I become more and more grind down so in the end when he whines about wanting water I just give it to him to make him stop rather than pull him up on the whining.
In addition I will try and just keep everything light and jolly as suggested I have found in the past this method just makes him MORE annoyed/whiny but sticking with it is probably the key. I am just not a child jolly person (or patient!) by nature.
I just keep thinking what have I done to make him this way? Should I pay him more attention? be stricter?
Give him 10 mins 'whine time' after school for him to offload. Then he's got to buck up. If you explain that this is how it is going to be as of tomorrow, then tell him his 10 mins is up, and he either talks positively or stays quiet.
distraction can work really well and if you start it as soon as he starts it will work even better. the trick is to ignore the behaviour not the child. the mary poppins thing sounds like fab distraction. or you could play games bird spot etc .
when mine would whine i would joke saying only dogs can understand you i have no idea. whine in louder pitch oh dear now even the dogs dont understand and said with a smile and in a laughing tone. if they persisted i would whine/talk to dogs as well and it soon became a game.
could it be that he is hungry/thirsty when he comes out of school. maybe try a snack and/or drink for the walk home. something to boost his energy levels.
i would whine if i came out of school and had to walk a mile home and i am just ever so slightly older than 4 .