Thursday, November 26, 2015

ABCs of Adoption: W is for Whining

It seems like not a day goes by without somebody whining - sometime it's the child and sometimes it's the adults.   Trying to figure out what is causing the whining and how to get it to stop is a mystery.  Sometimes the whining is legitimate and sometimes we are truly puzzled.   Last week junior was looking through catalogs and saw an advent calendar, this led to him immediately asking for it.   I told him we bought him a Lego advent calendar which led to lots of whining that he didn't want a Lego one and it was stupid, he hated the one we got him last year, etc.   In this case I just chose to ignore the whining.  

Whining is common with toddlers and pre-schoolers but we have a 7 year old, shouldn't the whining stage be over by now.   While in calendar months he is 7, but emotionally he has regressed and is acting more like a 3-5 year old.  Regression is common and can actually be seen as a good thing in the long run.   Junior has gone back to a time in his life when his needs weren't being met and is reliving that time.   This allows the brain to rewire itself and for him to heal.   I comprehend this but it doesn't make it easier to deal with the constant whining. 

Often there is no logic to the whining, we try to let him know that we hear him but that doesn't change our answer.  Instead of battling the whining we are letting him learn from natural consequences:
  • He whines that it's not cold and he doesn't need to wear a coat.  Fine he can go outside without one, he then realizes that it is cold and he should have listened to us and put on a coat.   
  • He whines that he doesn't want to wash his hands before helping cook dinner, I start without him and he then misses out on helping. 
 I tend to counter the whining with wine for me.   

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