Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tips and Hints Tuesday - Are your ears burning?

I get so tired of finding new and effective ways to discipline my four year old.

It becomes so exhausting. I'll do well for a while, but eventually I become so frustrated that I'm screaming all the time which only makes Hannah act out more. It makes me feel like a bad mom and she's constantly loud, whining, and discontent.

If you read my blog on Sunday, you know I've been discouraged. I've done a lot of reading and I've decided to try something new. I know I have to stop yelling. In our house, this family takes on my mood. If I'm miserable, so are my husband in child. In some ways it just doesn't seem fair at all. Why can't I have a bad day every once in a while?

I can continue to have a pity party for myself, or look at the upside. I am the momma! I can make my home a peaceful sanctuary for my family or a miserable place of discord. Since I'm a fan of being in control of things, this should be a positive for me, right??

I know that whiny children are a fact of life. Unfortunately, parents will either give in to stop the behavior or yell and fight increasing the tension. I am guilty of the latter and it has to stop.

Sunday morning when Hannah woke up and I was getting her vitamins and breakfast ready, we had a little heart to heart talk.

This is where my tip for stopping the whining comes in!

I told her that she's been much too whiny lately and it has to stop.

"No one is happy with a bad attitude and a bad tone of voice. You don't get what you want that way. Things have gotten out of control and mommy is yelling too much. From now on," I told her, "mommy will not respond to you when you use a whiny voice. Instead, I will look at you and tug on my ear. That means you are not using a nice tone of voice and I will not answer you until you use kind words and tone."

It seems so strange, but this has worked instantly. Hannah is a high spirited, high volume and high maintenance child. She has texture issues with food and clothing and is always looking to disagree. Who would have thought that a simple little tug of the ear would virtually stop the "fingernails on a chalk board" sound of whining?

To be honest, just simply having a plan has always worked for us when it comes to discipline. We are consistent, and I'm not escalating Hannah's frustration by yelling. Before, if I'd ignore her, she'd become MORE angry and yell and scream. By tugging on my ear, she knows I acknowledge her, but she needs to use a better voice if she wants a response.

So today, if you're sick of the whining, have a talk with your kids and do a little ear tugging! Let me know if it works for you...and I'll let YOU know how my long term outcome is!

1 comment:

  1. hmmmm, hey I'm game for anything that might work! Problem is not so much with the whining, but getting her to acknowledge me at all (she tunes out)...I "know" it's the ADHD but it doesn't make it any easier. Kuddos on creative parenting :)

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