Look, I try not to judge people, really I do. In fact, I’ve made it my mission to stomp out online mommy trolls, because I think they are making the internet a sad place, and I can’t be having that. The internet is my happy place. I know it’s not nice and that it always comes back to bite you in the butt later, but if your kid is whining– I can’t help it. I am judging you more than Judge Judy splitting up a common law marriage.
Here’s what I’ve discovered, if your kid’s a whiner, you’re probably going to handle it one of five ways:
1. Ignore it. Look, I know you’ve had a long day, and maybe that isn’t your only kid. I get that you’ve tuned out his incessant begging for candy-soda-Legos but guess what? I can’t. I can’t tune out your child and he won’t shut up. As you ignore him, he just gets louder and whinier. Did he just throw that toy on the ground? Oh, he so did, and you silently picked it back up and kept on texting. I hate you. So much. You don’t even know. Now this this is the one I can’t get behind. This is one of the times I think I am OKAY in my judging. Why? Because it’s important for kids to feel heard. Nine times out of ten, that is exactly what they want, someone to LISTEN to them, not to give them what they want, not to pass their pain onto someone else, but just to be heard. So, if you’re ignoring it, just acknowledge it. Please.
2. Escort them out, by the arm, harshly. I never really know how to react to this one. My gut always flips a little because I’m not sure exactly what happens once you get out to the car, but if you’re just removing a grumpy kid from the environment, and trying to do it as fast as possible, then this is one of the best ways you can handle a whining kid. The thing is, maybe they are overstimulated by the busy grocery store. (This happens to me when I try to go on a weekend, I have caught myself getting more and more activated and ready to scream as the trip goes on, so why wouldn’t it happen to a kid?)
3. Yell at them. Oh, come on! Of course we all yell at our kids from time to time, but just know that if you do it in front of others they are silently judging you. They want to know what is going on in your life that is making you lose your temper like that. They want to know just how much whining you’ve ignored for it to finally be enough to crack. They want to know why you don’t have more patience. I don’t know about this one. I wish there was a way as parents, we could stop and help each other when we are at our wits end. I wish there was a way we could stop and look at each other and just say, “You go grab a starbucks and I will entertain your little one for the next twenty minutes so you can breathe.” Because that is what I want to say, that is what I want to do. But instead, we are left ignoring it and walking by as quickly as possible.
4. Be sympathetic. This one is a toughie. It can go both ways. Maybe you’ve been driving all day and you know your kid needs a nap so you just give in and do what they want, or maybe you’re spoiling your kid rotten. Either way, I know you’re just trying to do what’s best.
5. Whine back. This is probably my very favorite way to handle whiners. When they start crying about how Suzy got new my little ponies and she didn’t, just whine about how you wish you’d gotten some ponies too. Nine times out of ten this makes the kid laugh so hard they forgot what they were whining about in the first place.
If your kid’s a whiner, it’s not a reflection on you as a person, but I am judging you, and so is everyone else. This is how society is today, and I don’t know how we are going to move past that.