Tantrums and Whining
Creative discipline for temper tantrums and whining
by Lisa Whelchel
If your kids throw fits or whine, take a look at these discipline ideas:
Throwing a Fit
Does your child slam the door when she's angry? You might tell her, "It's obvious that you don't know how to close a door properly. To learn, you will open and close this door, calmly and completely, 100 times."
If your child likes to stomp off to his room or stomp around in anger, send him outside to the driveway and tell him to stomp his feet for one minute. He'll be ready to quit after about 15 seconds, but make him stomp even harder.
The same goes for throwing fits. Tell your child to go to her room to continue her fit. She isn't allowed to come out and she has to keep crying for 10 minutes. Ten minutes is an awfully long time, and it's no fun if your parents tell you to cry.
Another way to handle temper tantrums is to simply say, "That is too disruptive for this house. You may continue your fit in the backyard. When you're finished, you are welcome to come back inside." When there isn't an audience, the thrill of throwing a temper tantrum is gone.
If your child asks for something and then argues or throws a fit when you tell her no, tell her that no matter what she asks for, from that moment on the answer will be an automatic no until she can accept the answer "no" respectfully.
I heard of a grandmother who was buying shoes for her 10-year-old grandson. He threw a fit when he realized he wouldn't get the more expensive pair. So she leaned down and whispered in his ear, "If you continue to embarrass me,I will kiss you all over your face right here in the middle of the store." He stopped immediately.
No whining and no begging are allowed at our house. My children know that if they add "Please, please, please" when asking for something, my response is an automatic "No, no, no."
Our children's piano teacher told me that when she was a little girl and would start whining about something, her mother would stand there, looking confused — as if she were speaking a foreign language. Then her mother would say, "I'm sorry but I do not understand 'Whinese.' Would you please speak to me in English?"
Jeremiah 17:9-"The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?" There will be times in our children's lives when they will be tempted to follow the world's philosophy: "If it feels good, do it." There will be other times in life when they must do things they don't feel like doing. It is important to teach our children as early as possible that our feelings are a gift from God, but that they can't always be trusted. From the first time they whine, "I don't feel like it," remind them, "Be the boss of your feelings!" This phrase will become even more valuable as our children get older.
by Lisa Whelchel, a Focus on the Family book published by Tyndale House Publishers. Copyright © 2000, Lisa Whelchel. All rights reserved. International copyright secured.