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05-29-2011, 01:11 PM
This question might envoke debate, but for my sanity I have to ask it anyway.

I've basically created a monster. I won't go on and on with excuses, but it's been easier for me to "give in" to stop the whining or the tantrum that might come on then to say "no". Well it's biting me in the a$$ and I've created quite the whinner (I don't know how to spell that). DH isn't as bad as me, but also pretty bad. I know that the situation is complete our own doing so be kind :)

So the major problem is that durning this time of year I'm home with DS alone over most the of the weekend and I need to get some stuff done. Well he wants me to play with him or do something and when I explain that I can't at that second the whining begins. The other issues is with eating, he'll want a "snack" when it's meal time and I'll say no you can have this instead and again he's whining and this morning it's turned into a full blown tantrum, that's has led to a time out.

So obviously I need to take action NOW, the crying and whining drive me crazy and really stress me out and if I'm already stressed it often times leads to eating. Anyway, I know I have a difficult road ahead of me and was wondering what my best course of action is. I feel that I just need to say no, explain the reason and then ignore what ever happens next for as long as it happens. I have a really hard time giving him a time out for wanting attention because I'm not sure at this point (he'll be 3 in August) that he'll understand that the time out is for the tantrum and not because he wanted attention. Just like this morning I'm concerned that he doesn't know that the time out for the tanturm he's having because he didn't get his way and not because he wanted something to eat. He wanted chips and I told him no it was breakfast time and he could have cereal or yogurt and he could have chips later and he started crying. He did stop crying so I told him he could go cry in time out.

So anyway, is just ignoring the tantrum my best course of action here or should I be enforcing more time outs? Again, please try to not let this turn into a parenting debate, I know that there are many many many methods of parenting and we all just need to do what works for us, so maybe if you could just share what has worked for you.

05-29-2011, 01:27 PM
I highly recommend the book Parenting with Love and Logic.

05-29-2011, 02:07 PM
You are going to get soooo much advice on this one, you are a brave girl!

I'll just tell you what I have learned from my own experience. Several years ago I worked as a teacher at a daycare/preschool. Mostly I worked with ages 18 months up to 3/4 yr olds. If time out is a new thing for your child then maybe the first couple of times will need some explaining. I have found that generally, kids don't like time out and they continue to whine and have tantrums. This is why it works! I've never seen a kid enjoy time out. The trick is to be consistent, that's also the hard part. By the same token, time out isn't always the best way to handle things. If a child is having a tantrum over a toy, removing the toy is a quick way to make your point. Removing privilages--TV, game times, etc., at such a young age is a hard concept, *I* think, although it's easy enough to try. If you can have an instant consequence to the undisirable behaviour that usually works well. Again, if you aren't consistent the child will always push hoping that this is the time you give in (like before).

I know some people say to ignor the tantrums. In my opinion it depends on what the tantrm is about. If it's because I wouldn't buy a toy and the tantrum is in the store, then no, not acceptable (for me and my kids). I used to tell my kids that every store had a special time out spot and we would go ask the sales people where it was if we had to ;) They would be so embarrassed at the thought of time out at the store it usually nipped it in the bud. Someone will surely think this is bad parenting but it sure did the trick.

And like you, I give my kids food choices. They used to get mad and say that I never let them have anything. I've told them over and over again, you can have any food you want as long as it's a healthy choice. Mine are now old enough to know the difference, but they still complain. And yeah, a tantrum over that would have me sending them to their room to cry. Come to think of it, I did used to send them to their room to cry more often then an actual time out. I would just say that I don't want to listen to the crying and the tantrum so you have to do that in your bedroom and you can come out when you're finished. I guess I sort of had a distinction between time out and sending them to their rooms.

Btw, sounds like pretty typical kid behaviour so I hope you aren't being too hard on yourself.

I think generally, we underestimate the understanding of young children. He has learned how to get things he wants, up till now. He is capable of learning how to get what he wants after you have enforced some new boundries. Good for you for trying to figure it out!

Again, all just my opinion. I'm sure there will be many more :)

05-29-2011, 02:20 PM
Brave soul! It sounds like you are handling things well.

I don't recommend ignoring the tantrums because it is such unacceptable behavior. Sending them to their room or picking them up and putting them there is an effective response.

The big thing, and the hardest, is consistency. If you give in "just once in a while" it will just encourage the behavior. Hang in there!

05-29-2011, 02:51 PM
"I've basically created a monster..."

Weeeellll, no---you really haven't. Much of the behavior you've described is pretty musch the end of the year of terrible two's. Like every two-year old, your son is still young and impulsive...but now he's had almost a whole year to practice young and impulsive behavior, so he's reeeeeeeallly good at it.

Don't be too hard on yourself. On the other hand, persistence is the most underrated quality in a parent. If you really want to have more sunny behavior from your children, then you have to keep your goal firmly in mind as you persist in showing your son what you mean.

For instance...when he whines to get his way? Try saying cheerfully, "Gosh. I really want to know what you're saying, but I just can't hear you when you whine like that." As he continues to whine, you continue to say: "Gosh, I really want to know what, etc, etc. like a broken record, and stay really busy washing dishes or folding clothes or whatever you're doing.

After a couple of minutes, there will come the blessed moment when he will finally draw in a breath and say in a clearly unwhining tone, "I want spahgetti for supper," and you will drop what you're doing, hug him a bunch and say, "That was perfect! That was great! I heard you loud and clear! You're amazing!"

And after lavishing the love, you are then free to point out that spaghetti's not on the menu----or you can serve spaghetti---just as you please!

If you're persistent---if every time you are kind and cheerful about not understanding your son's whines, he will get the picture. But you must be persistent. No giving in and...whining yourself.

05-29-2011, 06:00 PM
For instance...when he whines to get his way? Try saying cheerfully, "Gosh. I really want to know what you're saying, but I just can't hear you when you whine like that." As he continues to whine, you continue to say: "Gosh, I really want to know what, etc, etc. like a broken record, and stay really busy washing dishes or folding clothes or whatever you're doing.

After a couple of minutes, there will come the blessed moment when he will finally draw in a breath and say in a clearly unwhining tone, "I want spahgetti for supper," and you will drop what you're doing, hug him a bunch and say, "That was perfect! That was great! I heard you loud and clear! You're amazing!"

This is great! Definitely gotta reward/reinforce the good behavior......

05-29-2011, 06:20 PM
I'm not a parent, but I'm a teacher and I feel like I can contribute here.

How old is your son?

About snacks - I like to keep "healthy" snacks (like fruit) out and available for a child to eat whenever they feel like, without having to ask anyone for it. If you keep giving three meals and 1 snack at the same time each day, they will learn that no amount of whining will get them an unhealthy/different snack.

You can also avoid a lot of arguments by offering choices.

Mom: It's breakfast time. Chips are not a breakfast food. For breakfast, you can have cereal or eggs (say this with excitement). Which one do you want? (Note: I wouldn't say "you can have chips later," because it sends the message that they can have whatever they want, just at a different time).
Son: Eggs.
Mom: Do you want your eggs scrabbled or sunnyside up?
Son: Scrabbled.
Mom: Do you want them with an orange or a pear? etc., etc.

The point is to try to make a game of it so that the child is caught up in making choices. Saying "no" and offering only one other option let's the child know he doesn't have any control over the situation. And when a child (or anyone) feels like they don't have control, they will do whatever they can to get it back (including tantrums). It really isn't about the chips.

About tantrums - I wouldn't EXACTLY ignore it. The child does it to annoy you. So, if they have a tantrum, at least shut them in their room so they aren't bothering you/getting negative attention. If they realize they are getting nowhere, they will stop. The only reason kids have tantrums is that they are really effective, so never, ever, ever give in. After the child calms down, you can reason with them and give them a punishment, like a time-out, for throwing the tantrum in the first place. Ignoring them while throwing a tantrum is half of it -- you have the right instincts. But if you don't punish them once they are calm, they will keep doing it.

I recommend the book teaching/parenting "With Love and Logic." It helps your child identify consequences for their actions and encourages reasoning skills.

05-29-2011, 06:21 PM
Ah, I see another person recommended love and logic!

05-29-2011, 06:45 PM

Originally Posted by Hiya 

For instance...when he whines to get his way? Try saying cheerfully, "Gosh. I really want to know what you're saying, but I just can't hear you when you whine like that." As he continues to whine, you continue to say: "Gosh, I really want to know what, etc, etc. like a broken record, and stay really busy washing dishes or folding clothes or whatever you're doing.

After a couple of minutes, there will come the blessed moment when he will finally draw in a breath and say in a clearly unwhining tone, "I want spahgetti for supper," and you will drop what you're doing, hug him a bunch and say, "That was perfect! That was great! I heard you loud and clear! You're amazing!"

Originally posted by Gogogirl:
This is great! Definitely gotta reward/reinforce the good behavior...

I could not agree more! Take the time to be kind and cheerful (and teach your son to be kind and cheerful in the process). And take the time toreward and reinforce good behaviour. And "lavish the love". You'll reap the reward over many years. :hug:

Arctic Mama
05-30-2011, 02:28 AM
We're no-nonsense and traditional - tantrums are really just a lack of control over anger and an inappropriate venting of emotion, with our kids. We shut them down immediately. The first whine is a verbal reprimand to use the correct and cheerful/grateful tone, continuing in that results in a loss of privilege (like ending playing if the tantrum is about a toy or at a sibling, or leave the table if it is a gratitude issue over what is being served).

If they persist beyond this, we issue discipline as needed. The tantrum gets them nothing, and they don't do them hardly ever as a result. My current two year old is very willful, so she tests us on this more frequently, but the result is always the same - swift and decisive. Being inconsistent would undo weeks of work at consistency and we try to resist the urge to take the easy tack and appease the inappropriate behavior. Our kids know the rules are clear and firm, the consequences are serious, and they won't change. Establishing this, however you do it, is key to your child knowing the perameters in which they operate, and gives them security and a predictable set of behaviors.

Consistency is so important. We get there through high expectations (even of our toddlers), clear rules, and making it very clear that obedience will be blessed and disobedience will not be tolerated. We try to spend a good amount of time noticing and complimenting our children's consistently good behavior, further motivating it, and steering them away from the bad behavior or choices.

Our home can't function with selfish heart attitudes by ANY of us, so we try really hard to dissuade ourselves and our kids from having them. It has worked very well.

Arctic Mama
05-30-2011, 02:39 AM
I also agree with Girlinwaterglobe - I try to offer my kids two choices in things that are not scheduled (our meals are, but their clothes, for example, are not). This gives them some liberty while I still get to dictate acceptable terms (that way, we don't get sandals in snow!).

I do NOT offer more than two choices at a time, as this age, as it leads to time wasting and gets confusing for them.

05-30-2011, 09:48 PM
I like Becky Bailey.

But your kid is not even 3. You are still in "dictionary" and "weather channel" mode. With some "broken record" too. :)


"See the DOG? That's a DOG! Can you say DOG?"
"Hear the WHINING? That is WHINING! Can you say it like..."

Weather Channel:

Just announce what it is, and what you see with his emotions. Similar to dictionary, but a little more.

"I hear you want a snack. I think you are feeling hungry. Are you hungry?" and then when child confirms announce whatever time is is. Snack time if is, or meal time if it is. How's he gonna know?

"It's meal time!" then get the food you want him to eat and if he doesn't want it, tough. Allow him the choices you are ok with (red cup? Blue cup?) and if you are willing on the food (banana snack? Apple snack?) but don't cave just because he whines for something you don't want him to have.

Be firm, be consistent. And kid is gonna TEST you til the cows come home. Then you play the broken record.

Kid: I want chips!
Me: I see you are hungry. We are having soup. Blue bowl or red?
Kid: Don't want soup. I want snack!
Me: Meal time. Blue, red, or mommy picks.
Kid: I want snacks!
Me: LAST time. Soup is not up for discussion. Blue, red or mommy picks.
Kid:It's not fair!
Me: Red it is. Yay! Soup time for lunch!

When she was younger she'd get all pissy that she lost her chance to pick. I'd just be the weather channel. "I see you are angry you lost your chance to pick. Next time pick faster. You get 3 tries or mommy just picks."

That's just how we roll here, she had to learn to live with it, and by being the same and consitent, she knows what to expect.

Oh, and as the child ages, you can introduce the idea of enoughness.

Crying down the skies because the dog dies? Ok. But because you stubbed your toe? That's just too much tears for a small thing. You still have to play weather channel with emotions "This is a big deal. This is not a big deal. That's enough crying for that one. That's too much."

Don't underestimate the ingredients of cranky: tired, hungry, or frustrated.

You are the manager, so if this is a chronic thing and it isn't frustration related to development milestones that can't be helped (ex: teething), look at your routine to see that child is getting enough of what he needs. Each child is different, so consider your management of that kid. What's working? What isn't?

Kids that young are out to get you on purpose. They reflect basics like "my needs are met" or "my needs are not met." So what are the needs? Not what the kid THINKS he needs, but the real need.

Is he going on whining about his truck? Well, is it about the truck or is it about the need for a nap?

Enough nutrition? Enough rest? Enough running around time? Esp if you've been on errands. To the child is it sit in the car, sit in the shopping cart, sit in the car, sit in the doc office, sit and sit and sit. I used to make planned playground stops to alleviate all the sitting.

1 errand, run around, 1 errand go home.
2 errands, run around, 1 errand, go home.
2 errands, run around, 2 errands, go home.

Never more than that for me --- 4 errands with a kid made ME cranky and tired and then i don't parent well.

I know you need to get stuff done, but from the kid's POV -- are you trying to do too much? What can you let go? Do after child is sleeping?


05-30-2011, 09:51 PM
Oh, and the magic of lavendar play dough.

I used to make it for my kid and for the church nursery...

Lavender essential oil is ok on skin and it is calming. So I like giving it to kids that are making me bonkers. Not only is it an activity, it chills them out!

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1 cup water
1 tbs vegetable oil
1 tbs cream of tartar

few drops food coloring
few drops lavender essential oil

Stir it in pot so all has dissolved. (I like using a hand blender.) Set over low medium heat.

As it cooks, keep stirring. As it cooks, scrape up the dough from the bottom.

When it starts to trace, pay attention. It's going to lose the "glossy wet" look soon. Tracing is when dragging the spoon across the bottom leaves a trail that doesn't fill back in right away.

Remove from heat when it stops being shiny. The texture is sort of like mashed potato. It's ok if a tiny bit of liquid remains. The heat of the dough will finish it off.

Place hot dough in a floured dish. Knead smooth. Store in Ziploc when not playing with it. Will keep for weeks.


05-30-2011, 10:42 PM
A lot of parenting is a are all different :)

You have received some great advice that I can't add on other than, as mentioned be consistent but flexible...

don't try to "reason" with kids too much...

I found out with my son that he understood a swat on the butt much better than a "talking to or time out"....;)

Now my daughter, just the mention of a spanking at the appropriate time was enough :)

Don't worry...when your child is 10 you will know how to raise a 5 year old ;)

05-30-2011, 11:00 PM
Thank you all so much! The problem is I'm the first to admit I'm a push over and inconsistent. Maybe because my mom wasn't, she was tough as nails. I think I just need to pick my method and be consistent, he really is a good kid, but I'm the only one that has these issues with him. He doesn't pull half the stuff when he's with my mom or home alone with dad. It's time to be the parent.

Arctic Mama
05-31-2011, 02:48 PM
I wish you the best, sweetie! It is completely reversible at this point, if you are committed to parenting in a predictable, consistent manner. Give it a few weeks of solid, enforced rules (not too many, but stick to your guns on the few you choose) and evaluate from there. I would be shocked if things didn't get worse at first, then drastically improve as your son learns the new system and understands what mommy expects of him :)

05-31-2011, 03:02 PM
A lot of parenting is a are all different :)

I love that. It's so true :lol:

05-31-2011, 03:51 PM
I don't read parenting books. Kids don't come with manuals. I'm a mom to an 8 year old and I must say agree with one of the other posters that All kids are different.

You have to use what works best for you, your child and your household. But with understanding that, you do have to be consistent. Let your child understand that you are the parent, not their friend or someone on their level.

Although I play with my daughter, she knows her boundaries and knows that I'm her mother not her equal. As a single parent to a young girl, I don't want her to grow up to be a "hot a**" , brat or girl with a nasty attitude.

As for your situation with your son, he's still a tyke and will test boundaries as far as you let him. I agree with the choice technique and offering "snacks" rarely. Even now, my daughter will say I want some chips. I'll say there's some apples or yogurt in the fridge, your choice, but no chips. Then I'll point to our sign that's in the house that says "No Whining". It goes for both of us.

05-31-2011, 05:02 PM
Consistancy! Like everyone else said. Whatever you do - just be consistant with it.

We have been lucky with the time outs. Logan is 2 yrs, 4 month old and we have been doing time outs for probably about a year now. Yeah - he was pretty young when we started. But sometimes, just the warning that if he does something again, he will get a TO is enough to stop him. And after one warning - he gets a TO. Even if we are out and about.

We have been lucky in that we put him in time out and he stays! He cries the whole time - but it isn't for his enjoyment.

I agree a lot with what others said about choices. "Do you want an apple or a banana?" "Do you want to wear these PJ's or these?" "Do you want to brush your teeth first or take a bath first?" This helps them feel in control of their environment - but you are giving appropriate choices.

We do tend to ignore tantrums. Now that his vocabulary is getting larger and clearer, I have noticed they are FAR less frequent. If he wants to cry and bang his head on the floor - so be it. I just place him in a safe spot away from me and let him work it out.

05-31-2011, 10:34 PM
Please don't beat yourself up over how you got here. We are all supermoms, maybe not in every way, but each in our own way. I think we are all the perfect moms for the children we have.

When we hit this stage with my DS (although he would cry for what he wanted) that crying was for when we were feeling sad or if we are hurt, but we don't cry about whatever it is goes here . My strategy was to help him learn to manage his emotions. If he chose to continue crying I told him that was fine, but 1) I couldn't understand him well when he was crying and 2) if he chose to continue crying about whatever it was he could do that in his room.
He didn't really see this as a punishment, and in some cases he would go to him room and cry for a few more minutes and then come out a little more reasonable than he went in. A lot of the time though he would stop when I said I couldn't understand him, or when I suggested continuing in his room.

I can't say this never happens, he still gets whiny sometimes, and he's 6 now, but it improved things a whole lot.

You've had lots of great ideas shared here, try some out and see what works for you and what he responds to best. Good luck!

06-01-2011, 01:16 AM
As EZ says, Parenting is a crap shoot. That is so true.

But, I had fraternal twin boys, with totally different personalities. Even as newborns. They were my first. And only. It was a a tough row to hoe.

That being said. I am the parent. I am the adult! I am in charge! It is my JOB as a good parent to raise this child with a sense of responsibility, understanding and to be a good person/productive member of society when they leave my house.

This does not mean that I"m a mean or a non listening parent. But it does mean that I have to make choices. Sometimes, I have to say, I'm the MOM and that is the only reason I need, and sometimes, I need to listen to my child, and work through a situation and see it from their point of view. However, we had talks and I explained to them, my point of view and why the rules were the rules and they were not going to change.

Today, my children, who are 30, are very well adjusted, college educated, love their jobs, productive members of society, and happily married and giving me the cutest grand kids ever!

After their freshman year of college, they came home and thanked me and their Dad for being tough parents, , because they met so many kids that couldn't even make toast, let alone change a tire, or jump a car, or sort their laundry, or bake a chicken with stuffing, or make a meal in a crock pot.

Being a parent is a tough job. And some days it's great, and some days it sucks. But, in the back of my mind, it was always to be able to send my children into adult hood with a good set of morals, ethics and skills to make it on their own and be productive members of society.

Right now, the older of the twins is a Nebraska State Patrolman, DOT officer and SWAT sniper, and has a college degree in real estate with an emphasis in finance. The younger has a BS in human biology, a radiological tech degree and a teaching degree and also a Football and Basket ball coaching endorsement and is teaching at the HS level and coaching.

If I never succeed at another thing in my life, I did justice to my children!

Saying NO to your child is not the end of the world. But sometimes you need to listen as well. It's all about balance!