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Behavior Makeover: Whining

Our four year old has developed this horrible new habit that's driving my husband and me crazy. Anytime she wants to get her way, she uses a whiny voice that is so grating it reminds me of a dentist's drill. It's so embarrassing that we're afraid to take her out in public. Please tell us what we can do so she stops whining. We're becoming hermits!

– Sue, a mother of three from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

"I can't stand his tone. It's worse than nails scraping on a chalkboard."
"Once she starts, I know she'll keep it up until I give in."
"She's only four, but her begging is driving me crazy!"

Whining – that pitiful, loud, grating sound – is one of the most irritating of kid behaviors. The pitch is an exasperating blend of crying and nagging that's as annoying as a dentist's drill. If that's not enough, whiners have an amazing ability to stretch syllables so they almost slap you back in your face: "Pleeeeeeease" or "Daaaaad!" What's more, whining can quickly turn into a full-blown, ugly tantrum. Although whining usually peaks at around four years of age, it can continue well into the school years. There's some good news though: whining is learned, so the behavior can be unlearned. And the sooner you start your kid's behavior makeover, the less likely it will become an annoying, troublesome habit.

Next: 4 Steps >>

From No More Misbehavin' by Michele Borba, Ed.D. Copyright © 2003 by Michele Borba. All rights reserved. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Buy the book at www.amazon.com.

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