. . .but only on Whinesday in my classroom. If they whine on Tuesday, I’ll respond with, “It’s not Whinesday!” If they whine on Wednesday I’ll say, “It’s not – oh, rats. It is Whinesday, isn’t it?” I’ll sigh heavily, say, ” Whine away,” and listen to a chorus of ‘Mrs. Acuuuuuuunnaaaaaa! Do we haaaaaaaave to do this homework? It’s soooooooo haaaaaaaard!'”
Whining is annoying, whether it comes from a toddler, a teen, or an adult. Humor is a helpful tool when you’re faced with whining, as my friend discovered when dealing with her daughters.
When they were out for a walk and her youngest kept asking, “How much loooooongerrrr?” and complaining of tired feet, Mom made a deal with her. She said she was free to whine whenever they crossed a street, but not anywhere else. Every time they stepped into a crosswalk, this clever mom would say, “Here’s your chance – better get started before it’s too late!” Her daughter tried to whine, but she kept interrupting herself with laughter.
On another occasion, this same mom gave her daughter permission to whine for three whole minutes. As you might guess, she found it difficult to keep it up for that long.
Of course, there’s always the direct method: “I’m sorry, but I can’t respond to that tone of voice. Would you care to repeat yourself in a calmer tone?” That approach usually works for me.
Unless, of course, it’s Whinesday.