Nanny 911: Stop Kids' Whining and Screaming
The key is to ignore your children's whines and screams. Yes, toddler discipline is hard, but you're doing it so your kids will start to use their words—not their whines—to get what they want.
Here are a few toddler discipline tips:
- If your child starts whining, say, "I don't understand whining. I can't hear you until you say what you want."
- Acknowledge the situation, then shift the conversation away from whining. For example: "I know you're hungry. We'll be having dinner in just a few minutes. Do you want to help?"
- Ask how your child is really feeling. Is he upset? Tired? Hungry? Sad?
- Get your kid involved in coming up with a solution to the problem. For example: "What should we do about this? Will coloring make you feel better?"
Even if your child isn't talking yet, you can still teach him to communicate. Teach your babies and toddlers the words for what they want instead of just giving it to them. For example: "Oh, you want a cracker? Yes, here's a cracker!" You can even try sign language. But remember, screaming—by them or by you—is not an acceptable form of communication!
Now, if your kid is old enough to have a vocabulary, there's simply no excuse. The more they whine and scream, the more you have to insist that they use their words if they want to be heard. If you ignore the bad behavior (whining), you can then reinforce the good behavior (asking politely). Whether it's a young child or a toddler, discipline is hard, but isn't that what raising good kids is all about?