Whine Flu

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Now that the swine flu hysteria has settled down I'm back to worrying about the other epidemic set to level my household: Whine flu.

Why why WHY do toddlers whine so much? Over the weekend, I heard my eldest whine out phrases that I could never have imagined whine-worthy.

In response to me saying I would take him to the park: Okayyyyyyyy.

In response to me asking him if he wanted a piece of cheese: Yea I guess so, I like cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeese.

In response to me saying thanks for the Mother's Day pipe-cleaner necklace he made me: I love you too mommyyyyyyyyyyy.

Of course there are the more garden-variety whines ("I want more tvvvvvvvvvvvv" and it's bastard cousin, "I need more tvvvvvvvvvvv" come to mind) but D's whinyness these days isn't even relegated to things he is demanding and not getting. It's as if, every hour or so, there is just a big old whine in him that needs to be released.

It got me curious and I found this article that purports to answer the question of why children whine, and also offers some solutions for whined-out parents. In sum, it seems like kids whine when they are tired, hungry, or need some attention...

Hmm. That leaves about 3 seconds of the day that might be a whine-free zone!

Some of the combat tactics--talking our kids through what is bothering them, acknowledging that they are upset, respond consistently--are obviously robust tools. But sometimes, I just cover my ears and sing really loudly and tell D that he has to take medicine for his whine flu. That works too. Probably because D, in his early abstract thinking prowess, is worried for my sanity...!
Gloria said...

My 3 year old's whining has become unbearable; thank you for this article!

Anonymous said...

oh the whining. i lose my patience so easily these days with it, i feel horrible but it is so irritating! and then i try to reason with my kids as if they are adults ("can't you see how annoying you are being?") which makes me of course feel silly. i keep hoping it's just a phase!

TF said...

great article i will try anything!

Veena said...

Deepa, this is so funny. I can see you closing your ears and singing. Ha.

Bahar said...

My 4 year old it seems whined consistenly for 6 months. And then stopped. Hope the same happens for you!

Kiran said...

The best and i mean BEST technique I have found: Ignore them. Ignore tantrums, ignore whining, ignore demands. Ignore as much as necessary. If they don't get a reaction they will stop.

maidinmalaysia said...

mine has the whine flu too. it's so entrenched that i can't seem to differentiate between normal voice and whining voice

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