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Whinging driving me nuts - has anyone successfully got it under control? How?!

(12 Posts)
theotherboleyngirl Mon 04-Jul-11 07:09:12

DS is 5. I literally feel he has whinged for 4 years. I've reached my limit. I've actually watched lately where friends have stopped playing with him for it - he can't seem to handle any situation without 'melting' and whinging, and often it's very loud and very vocal where everyone's eyes will turn on him.

I've tried absolutely everything over the years and nothing makes the slightest bit of difference. He can bring down the whole family because he will whinge constantly. At the moment we are doing 'zero-tolerance' on it - no warnings, straight in to time out. If he whinges on the way there it's double time. It works for the immediate sense but 10/20 minutes later it'll be something else. Nothing seems to get through to him long-term that the whinging needs to stop. He can't/won't hear you when he's in that state - he literally blocks out anything by his own noise. And the most ridiculously tiny things trigger it, but because he can't hear you in that state you can't explain. And after time out and I try to explain he says "yes mummy, I'm sorry for whinging mummy, I'm too old to whinge now"... and then 10 minutes later...

I'm actually despairing now. I feel embaressed by it in a child his age (whereas I didn't when he was younger) - he's also incredibly tall for his age (looks about 8), and I really worry for him socially if this continues. Has anyone managed to deal with a whinger? Or share some strategies of what's worked for you in how to deal with it?

TheMagnificentBathykolpian Mon 04-Jul-11 07:35:39

It really sounds like you're doing all you realistically can.

Mine are twice that age and the meltdowns are amazing to behold grin (they have autism)

ime, there's not really much you can do to stop it, if they're a whinger, they're a whinger and it's THEM that have to change it, and until they are prepared to, it can't be externally changed against their will, iyswim. You can only carry on making sure they never gain by whinging - ie you NEVER give in to them, you NEVER allow anyone else to give in to them. In short, whinging NEVER gives them the desired outcome. Hopefully, in time, they realise that it's pointless.

Plus removing them from whatever they are doing as soon as they whinge. "Oh well, if you're whinging, clearly you're not having fun, so we'll stop now." and end the activity instantly.

I even did finger on lips, ffs grin

I'm afraid that now I have reached the stage where when they whinge, I say "Well, sorry, but tough luck. You don't always win." I don't try to negotiate with them, I don't try to jolly them out of it. I DO listen to how they are feeling. That is always important. I explain that people won't like them if they behave like that. But if they want to whinge, they are going to, and all I can do is carry on trying to teach them how to deal with disappointment in a different way, but if they whinge, then they get no sympathy and they face the consequences.

And I have learned to not hear them, so that it doesn't drive me crazy grin I can block it out. That helps me grin

theotherboleyngirl Mon 04-Jul-11 07:43:02

thank you so much... can't tell you how good that feels just to hear someone else in the same position... I have 2 others, and although younger they just don't whinge like this and so the difference is staggering...

I don't think I've ever given in, so you're right it seems to just be innate character... oh dear. DH apparently was a whinger, my MIL even apologised to me once when DS was 'on form' saying it came from DH!

and breathe and start another day...

ledkr Mon 04-Jul-11 09:14:08

dd1 was a whinger too,i think it stopped at around 6 she is 9 now and never whinges.There is asection in toddler taming about it and i remember it was usefull but dont have book anymore.I think he talked about ignoring it as much as possible,not easy i know.

theotherboleyngirl Mon 04-Jul-11 09:22:52

ha ha ledkr - I quote from toddler taming:
"whingeing is one of the most parent-destroying activities that any child can indulge in... as practised by some children, this habit is equal in potency to the Chinese water torture"

haven't looked at that book in a while!

Unfortunately he has 3 lines of advice - all we've done... and his parting shot is to ignore too. Ho hum... looks like it's here to stay until it miraculously disappears one day.


ledkr Mon 04-Jul-11 09:29:16

Yes thats the one. You could try the ignoring thing tho,it would be quite amusing.As with all behaviours,at some point whinging has got him what he wanted,id say the zero tol time out will work but its going to need staying power.

bottersnike Mon 04-Jul-11 09:30:42

Huge sympathy, as ds2 is exactly the same. He's 5, and whinges almost constantly. We've tried discussing it, time out, ignoring, all of which worked a bit, but we've reached the conclusion it's just part of his personality, the rest of which is fab!
We did start a reward chart last week, and one of his targets is "not whining". It has seemed to make a difference, as he really wants that star on his chart, but there are still times when he just can't seem to help himself, particularly if he's tired.

It does really grind you down though, doesn't it? You are not alone!

shipsladyg Mon 04-Jul-11 15:55:45

Hmmm. A tough one. The only strategies i have are for older children where you acknowledge they don't like something (this does not mean accept!) and try to get them to think around it without it being negative. I.e. Instead of "not whinging" as a goal it would be "staying positive" But.... I can see this would take the patience of a SAINT and wouldn't work for younger kids.

theotherboleyngirl Mon 04-Jul-11 17:06:00

yes, and I am no saint... I have toddler twins so my patience is a little, erm, thin...

He's been much better after school compared with last week - maybe the zero tolerance is working a bit (wishful thinking!)... he's only been in time out once (so far!). I think maybe it's that it eats in to something quite deep inside - you want your children to be happy, you give them the framework for that, but fundamentally I think my DS is a glass half empty kind of soul. As a glass is half full person, I find that tough. I think he's got so much to be happy and grateful for, yet he can't see it. Oh well, it really is reassuring to see I'm not the only one, and that there is some understanding out there for it testing the patience somewhat!

Good luck to all the families with whingers in their midst!

skybluepearl Mon 04-Jul-11 17:32:16

i had to use time out for whinging too but also tried to give more positive attention. can it be that he is really exhausted? reception is a very exhausting year. bed early?

skybluepearl Mon 04-Jul-11 17:33:26

i timed mine out in public too

theotherboleyngirl Mon 04-Jul-11 19:20:50

yes I've been time outting in public too - I hate that though in a way as it draws even more attention to it, but am persevering. I do think he is exhausted. Unfortunately earlier bedtimes never work on DS. He will just wake earlier in the morning. I have also been trying to tire him out physically though as I do think he's partly suffering from being worn out mentally from school etc but not physically that tired.

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