WOW! Last night was awesome – huge help from Tara C! Let’s do it again tonight with Lindsey.
Tonight will go very much the same with my precious friend Lindsey aka Izzy (Ella and Katie’s Emma Kate named her that).
If you don’t know the background on Izzy – start here. She’s passionate about growing kids and families and I go to her OFTEN for counsel on how to do just that in our home.
So, we are trying this out once a month and we shall see how it goes.
She will answer a few hot topics/questions in this blog post.
You will have a chance to CHAT with her via the comments section below and Facebook TONIGHT from 8-10 pm EST. Ask her questions or get suggestions for a certain challenge at home.
If you want to hear MORE on a certain topic – let her know and she can blog about that on another date.
Our desire is always to empower moms and change little lives – this is just one way to do this. Her way isn’t the only way – but I know this… she deeply loves the Lord. She loves families and yearns for families to thrive.
The ground rules are the same.
- Do not use this area as a place to debate tactics or get heated.
- Try to keep comments and questions as brief as possible.
- Remember she doesn’t know your entire family history and children personally.
- Unfortunately, she cannot continue the conversation offline via email unless you hire her.
- Don’t be afraid to ask. Really – use the comment space on this blog post or Facebook to ask questions! Go for it!
- If you aren’t asking, but you have a tip that could help others – go for it. We are here to help each other – respectfully and kindly dive in.
How do I decrease whining and complaining?
When children whine and complain they are doing it to get attention. So, if you want to decrease the whining and complaining, don’t reward the behaviors with your attention.
When a child whines to me, my go to response is to look at them with a somewhat quizzical face followed by the phrase, “I’m so sorry, but I don’t understand whining. I sure hope you’re able to talk to me in a different way so I’ll know what you are saying because I would love to help you!”
Complaining is a yucky way of coping that many adults have not yet grown out of.
For that reason, it’s even more important to help your children eliminate it when they are young. Just like adults, kids complain in order to vent. While we all need a way to vent, complaining is not a good way. When you see your child complaining, do your best to redirect them. Don’t jump on the complain train with them. I tell the kids I baby-sit that complaining won’t help the situation…so I’ve got to make sure that I don’t help a situation they are complaining about.
For instance, just last week I reminded an elementary aged girl that after dinner she would need to take a bath. She immediately began to complain that she didn’t want to take a bath. She continued to make complaining comments all through dinner that she didn’t want to take a bath. I could have said, “Ok, Olivia. I hear you. You don’t have to take a bath.” But that would have shown Olivia that complaining could help her situation. Instead, I looked at Olivia and said, I’m sorry that you don’t want to take a bath, but just because you complain doesn’t mean that I’m going to change my mind.”
With both whining and complaining, the old adage is true…what comes in, must go out.
If you have been consistent to ignore the negative behaviors and you still aren’t getting a positive response, take a step back and look at your children’s world. What are they watching? Do the characters on the shows and movies they watch whine and complain? You may have to really investigate this because even “good shows” have complainers. Personally, I have had to eliminate Caillou because he whines way too much for me! Who do your children play with? Whiners? Complainers? It may be time to take a little break. What about you? While I don’t see many adults whining, I certainly see a lot of complaining. Your children are watching you and how you react, so be careful that you are setting a good example.
Remember, the key to eliminating a behavior is to ignore it, and the key to encourage a behavior is to reward it. Over time, ignoring the whining and complaining and rewarding them when they get it right will help to decrease the whining and complaining in your children. i promise it will. I have seen it first hand time and time again.
A couple of years ago, I was regularly baby-sitting for a precious girl named Lauren, but she definitely had been bitten hard by the complaining bug. I was diligent and consistent and did not allow her complaining to help her situation. A little over two months passed and I began to notice that her complaining was non existent, and knew that was something to be celebrated. The next time I was taking care of her, we made a special trip to the ice cream store. After getting ice cream, I proceeded to tell her how proud of her I was for not complaining like she used to. Without missing a beat, she responded,
Yeah, that wasn’t really working so I’m not doing it anymore.
Inside I laughed, but she was serious, and she was right. I didn’t reward the behavior and over time she realized that so she stopped. So if you have a whiner or complainer at home. Don’t fret. You aren’t alone. Just be consistent. I have a feeling if you do you’ll have a story very similar to my Lauren story to share.
What makes a kid thrive at home?
Love and structure. I could write a whole post about it…so maybe I’ll do that next month. But as a teaser, I will tell you that kids thrive on love and structure. Even the free spirited ones. There is nothing wrong with setting boundaries…quite the contrary, the boundaries are a way to show love.
How can we help babysitters thrive in our homes?
Give them authority and support the authority that you give them. When the baby-sitter walks in the door, your children need to know that the baby-sitter is in charge. Then, when you return home, if your child tells you that the baby-sitter was mean, ask them for an example. Was the baby-sitter mean because they made them take a bath…or made them do their homework? If that’s the case, don’t take away authority by saying “Oh, I’m sorry they made you do that…you don’t have to do that next time.” That takes away the authority you gave when you left.
Instead, the response should be, “You know, those were things that you needed to do, and remember the rule, when Izzy is here, she is in charge.” Clearly, if the baby-sitter is disobeying your rules or putting your children in danger, that’s a different story altogether, but you should discuss that with the baby-sitter.
YOUR TURN! Fire away. Today, August 6 from 8-10 pm EST.
Right here in the comments or on Lil Light O’ Mine Facebook – look for Ask Izzy post.