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If you "don't tolerate whining/complaining"...


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What does that look like? 

 

My kids are 7, 9, and 11, and I'm getting worn out by their attitude whenever I ask them to do something they don't particularly enjoy.  If I say it's time for history/math/handwriting/whatever it is they don't want to do I get the sigh, the grimace, the "why do I have to..."  All in all it's not hugely terrible but it's irritating and draining to have little bits of resistance from someone all.day.long. 

 

In theory I don't tolerate whining or complaining and I am always responding and correcting when their attitude is unacceptable but I need something more because nothing is changing.

 

So, if you would say that you don't tolerate that kind of attitude from your children, what is your response when they behave that way?  I get that things aren't always fun and that they may not want to do something but I also know that if, for example, their piano teacher asks them to do something they do it without complaining.  I want the same respect.  Whether or not they whine the task still gets completed but I can't handle the constant drain on my emotional energy when they are grumbling.

 

 

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I tolerate four complains per boy per day. They get those free, because if I'm honest with myself, I do a little whining.

They get those free, so I represent their four free complains with four glass beads in a jar on the table. When they use one, they get to give me the bead from the jar. After they use those up, they get to pay me to listen to their complaining with some agreed upon chore that I personally dislike, cleaning baseboards. Fifteen minutes, per. We all agreed at the start of the year on the chore and the amount of time.

I think I've called in payment once in the last year.

 

Any complaint that they are willing to work at or solve by themselves or with some help from me doesn't count toward the tally.

 

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I think the key to the thing is that we agreed on what would be done should the whine limit be exceeded. Before that I tended to blow my top early or later depending on how I felt during the day, and the charge changed according to just how aggravated I got. This way the boys know what the limit is, they can either push it or decide not to exceed it, and they know what will happen when they go over the count. It's worked pretty well.

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It usually involves a big blow out where they are good for awhile after out of fear of experiencing another blow out from their mother.

 

Not suggesting this is the way to go, but I haven't figured out anything else.

 

Truthfully, this is how it often goes at our house, too.  But, in my aspirations:

 

I'm not sure it's accurate to say I don't tolerate it, but I definitely don't engage.  If there is a legitimate issue, I will try and problem solve with them, including providing alternative choices, but if it's just "I don't feel like doing X" today they get a short, sympathetic comment "Yeah, I have days like that too.  Let's get it done so we have time to go outside later!" and then that's it.  I don't engage in additional whining. I will invite them to take a very short break - get a snack, run around the house, pet the dog for a minute - to get themselves back on track.  If it continues I will invite them to go into their room and get themselves together - or even better, I will get up and go outside with a cup of tea.  The key is to not keep trying to use reason when they are in whine/meltdown mode.  They have to snap out of that, one way or another, before school can continue. I will help if they want it, but I won't get into a tussle with them.

 

Or, on my bad days, I will read them the riot act, like Sparkly says!!  That usually does work, they don't like it.  They will remember for awhile and try and avoid triggering another.  But, I do think this only works because I don't yell/raise my voice that often, so if I do, they know that they have tap-danced on my last nerve and that it's time to back off.  

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It usually involves a big blow out where they are good for awhile after out of fear of experiencing another blow out from their mother.

 

Not suggesting this is the way to go, but I haven't figured out anything else.

 

Thank you for your honesty.

 

We vacillate between the "freak the hell out because whining sounds like stabbing in my ear", and me calmly repeating some combination of the below until they say it properly:

 

"Please use your strong voice."

"Can you please phrase that as a suggestion and not a complaint?"

"I understand you are upset but I can't understand what you are saying."

"Please use your words."

"That is a problem. I have a lot of problems. Do you have a solution for me to help with?"

"You don't have to sound happy but you cannot try to spread your bad mood to me. Please find your strong face to help us get through this."

"This is me being nice, using my words to tell you what to do, and you aren't listening. What should I do to make you understand that you need to listen because I'm the mom? Are we talking raising my voice? Should I tell you what the consequence will be? This is important and you will do it, so what do I need to do to make you understand that?" <--This is always comical. They will say, "Just tell me!" "BUT I JUST TOLD YOU!!!" "Well you don't have to yell!" "Okay well I told you and you sat there so what do I have to do?" "I didn't hear you." And they really didn't...

 

If the whining / grumbling does not stop, they leave until they can have a good attitude. However, when it's about doing something that I want them to do that they don't want to do, obviously that doesn't work. In that case I let them grumble but shut the door behind them.

 

I will say that none of this has actually improved their behavior in the long run any more than it would have improved normally with age. It has just given me a quasi-civilized way to respond to the situation.

 

I know some people with compliant / passive children. It seems that girls with daddy and boys with mommy sometimes have this going on. The parents don't have to do any of this. None of it. They just say they won't tolerate whining, but actually they have never had to do anything to stop consistent whining. Nobody I know who really "doesn't tolerate" whining has ever been seen doing anything remotely active to stop whining. What is really happening is that the child just seems to mirror good behavior or aim to please without any behavioral training going on whatsoever. That is a nice personality to have in some respects. I can only hope that the adult version of my children's personality is also going to look more positive. And sometimes, one kid will be like that, and the parent thinks they "don't tolerate" whining, then the other whiner comes along, and all of a sudden the parent is doing a lot more tolerating of whining!

 

Still others seem to have a high tolerance for whining. So what I'd call whining, they don't even notice. (This is my partner.) He literally does not hear some aspect of whining. So he can say that his kids don't whine much. Well it sounds to me like they are regular whiners. Our ears are calibrated differently.

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Thank you for your honesty.

 

We vacillate between the "freak the hell out because whining sounds like stabbing in my ear", and me calmly repeating some combination of the below until they say it properly:

 

"Please use your strong voice."

"Can you please phrase that as a suggestion and not a complaint?"

"I understand you are upset but I can't understand what you are saying."

"Please use your words."

"That is a problem. I have a lot of problems. Do you have a solution for me to help with?"

"You don't have to sound happy but you cannot try to spread your bad mood to me. Please find your strong face to help us get through this."

"This is me being nice, using my words to tell you what to do, and you aren't listening. What should I do to make you understand that you need to listen because I'm the mom? Are we talking raising my voice? Should I tell you what the consequence will be? This is important and you will do it, so what do I need to do to make you understand that?" <--This is always comical. They will say, "Just tell me!" "BUT I JUST TOLD YOU!!!" "Well you don't have to yell!" "Okay well I told you and you sat there so what do I have to do?" "I didn't hear you." And they really didn't...

 

If the whining / grumbling does not stop, they leave until they can have a good attitude. However, when it's about doing something that I want them to do that they don't want to do, obviously that doesn't work. In that case I let them grumble but shut the door behind them.

 

I will say that none of this has actually improved their behavior in the long run any more than it would have improved normally with age. It has just given me a quasi-civilized way to respond to the situation.

 

I know some people with compliant / passive children. It seems that girls with daddy and boys with mommy sometimes have this going on. The parents don't have to do any of this. None of it. They just say they won't tolerate whining, but actually they have never had to do anything to stop consistent whining. Nobody I know who really "doesn't tolerate" whining has ever been seen doing anything remotely active to stop whining. What is really happening is that the child just seems to mirror good behavior or aim to please without any behavioral training going on whatsoever. That is a nice personality to have in some respects. I can only hope that the adult version of my children's personality is also going to look more positive. And sometimes, one kid will be like that, and the parent thinks they "don't tolerate" whining, then the other whiner comes along, and all of a sudden the parent is doing a lot more tolerating of whining!

 

Still others seem to have a high tolerance for whining. So what I'd call whining, they don't even notice. (This is my partner.) He literally does not hear some aspect of whining. So he can say that his kids don't whine much. Well it sounds to me like they are regular whiners. Our ears are calibrated differently.

 

 

I think this is so true.  I have one of each - a compliant kid, and a fighter.  Same genetics, same parenting style/philosophy - totally different results.  I thought I was such a great parent until I had my second child.  :001_rolleyes:

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Truthfully, this is how it often goes at our house, too.  But, in my aspirations:

 

I'm not sure it's accurate to say I don't tolerate it, but I definitely don't engage.  If there is a legitimate issue, I will try and problem solve with them, including providing alternative choices, but if it's just "I don't feel like doing X" today they get a short, sympathetic comment "Yeah, I have days like that too.  Let's get it done so we have time to go outside later!" and then that's it.  I don't engage in additional whining. I will invite them to take a very short break - get a snack, run around the house, pet the dog for a minute - to get themselves back on track.  If it continues I will invite them to go into their room and get themselves together - or even better, I will get up and go outside with a cup of tea.  The key is to not keep trying to use reason when they are in whine/meltdown mode.  They have to snap out of that, one way or another, before school can continue. I will help if they want it, but I won't get into a tussle with them.

 

Or, on my bad days, I will read them the riot act, like Sparkly says!!  That usually does work, they don't like it.  They will remember for awhile and try and avoid triggering another.  But, I do think this only works because I don't yell/raise my voice that often, so if I do, they know that they have tap-danced on my last nerve and that it's time to back off.  

 

I'm a whiner myself.  I don't whine over as nearly many things because as an adult a lot of stuff that upsets them does not upset me.  So I kinda get them.  But yeah there's a flipping limit.  I can tune it out, but only to a certain limit.

 

And while I can always tell them to go sit in their room or something, I kinda want to get stuff done.  So doing that several times is a lot of interruption.

 

It's not bad at all most of the time.  I think sometimes the problem is as much me as it is them.  If I start off the day feeling like I don't wanna...that's often when things don't go well. 

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I do a good bit of internal whining. I'd say, based on beads per day, I've got a 3 bead kid and a 0-1 kid, so certainly they wouldn't be big complainers. As to why they fuss, usually it is for the same reasons I do. I don't wanna, but I gotta and I can't get out of it. And sometimes because they are hungry.

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I make them start over, every time.  It's the every time that's the hardest, and most important part.  It's exhausting.  But after a few weeks/months they do get tired of saying everything twice.  

 

"It's time for math."

"Whyyyyyy?  I'm plaaaaaaayiiiing?"  

"Start over with a good attitude, please.  Say, ok mom."

 

If it continues for more than 1-3 comments they have to leave the room, and go be by themselves until they have a good enough attitude to be around other people again.  I too have a bad attitude sometimes, and yes, I go somewhere to be by myself until I can politely be around other people.  I make sure to tell them, "I have a bad attitude, I'm going to go take a break until I have a better one."  I stress that this isn't an adult vs parents issue.  This is learning how to live with others.

 

Also positive reinforcement.  Whining never gets them what they want.  Ever.  It get's a "No" and very little discussion.  On the other hand, when they ask for things politely I say yes as much as I possibly can, and I make sure to mention that I'm saying yes BECAUSE they asked politely.  And even if I can't say yes I try to explain WHY, treating them like the adult they are acting like. When they learn that whining gets them nowhere but saying, "Can I have 5 more minutes to finish my game?" will get them the 5 minutes, they switch.  At least theoretically.  I'll admit I have one kid that may have never, ever, ever gotten this unless his brother did first.  You know its bad when a 4 yo asks his 6 yo brother "Why don't you just use a nicer voice?  Then she would say yes!"  If I didn't have that going on for me I might have baby-stepped him more, giving into things when he re-asks nicely for a few weeks.  

 

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You know, I don't think that my kids whine to get out of something. That never works anyway. I really think they do it to show that they know what I've asked them to do has a meaning, a purpose and will need to be done, they just don't want to do it, and complaining is their way of getting an external motivator. It's easier to do something with a bad attitude if you've got Mom on your back.

The trick is teaching them to do things without the external motivation of someone hassling you. That's not easy! That is incredibly difficult to do, because it requires the individual to give up the need for that outside push and drive themselves from within. 

 

I second Rose's ideas of shifting gears by encouraging a moment of physical exercise or anything that resets the mood. I know that when I'm growling it won't do to tell myself how much I need to do what I don't want to do. What helps is to get a cup of hot tea in my system, focus on something completely unrelated to what I'm whining about, and then, when my whiny little self has been redirected to something else to play with, I can get on with what I need to do. 

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Whining sounds different here depending on how old the child is.

My 12 year old . .it sounds more like complaining. I have him write sentences or do chores. . .taking his time is the only thing I've been able to come up with that works in getting through to him.

 

My almost 7 year old has always been a very fussy/whiny/pouty child. Sweet and affectionate as anything but SOOO whiny! He gets one warning and if he still can't get himself under control, he gets 6 minutes in the corner to get himself under control.

 

My 3 year olds do their fare share of whining/pouting/tantrums. . .I simply don't respond to that behavior. They're still really young, IMO.

 

Oddly enough, I've never really had any whining from my girls. I get massive waterworks over things, though. I guess that's the trade off.

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For our family, this falls under character training.  We parent in a way where we discuss character traits, values, choices, and consequences of actions all the time.  Whining is a choice. (Framing this in terms of school age children.  Obviously toddlers lack the ability to verbally communicate in the way I am describing.) Struggling with a concept can be approached with asking for help.  Being tired and having a headache can be addressed by a conversation.  Neither require whining.   When my kids are what I call "whiny," it is a problem of the will and stems from laziness or lack of interest/desire. (this could be in terms of school, chores,  sharing, etc.)

 

We are Catholic and as Christians, that worldview is a foundational part of their character training. For school, we believe that education is a gift as is the intelligence which they possess.  We believe we are called to live our lives fulfilling the vocation we are living.  My vocation is wife, mother, teacher.   Their vocations are child, daughter/son, student.  As a student, they serve the Lord by doing their school work to the best of their ability.  When they complain b/c they don't want to do work, they are not serving the Lord.  Much of the time, a simple reminder of that fact is all it takes for them to refocus their energies and try to work with a positive attitude.

 

Other times, they are just in a mood.  They are ill-tempered and they have made the decision that they want to thrive in the mood.  I give them the opportunity to remove themselves and regroup and return composed and ready to move forward with a better attitude.  They can make that choice.  They can also make the choice to continue to engage negatively and then the consequences are privileges are taken away.  What those privileges are.....depends on the day and the child.  It could be no playing with friends, no watching TV, going to bed after dinner, etc.  But the issue always at the forefront of the behavior is that they have the ability to control it, disengage and regroup, or face the repercussions.  Regardless, it is not allowed to continue.  (IOW, if they don't willingly go and regroup, they will be sent to regroup with the additional consequences anyway.)

 

Only our Aspie has the inability to recompose on his own in a timely manner.  He can vent for hours (even now as an adult.)  The best method with him is to refuse to engage.

 

FWIW, character training takes a lot of concentrated effort when particular bad habits are being broken.  Once the positive traits become habits, they develop the good habit.

 

Another FWIW for any Catholics, I really love the book My Path to Heaven. http://www.amazon.com/My-Path-Heaven-Young-Persons/dp/0918477484 It is a good visual for the conversations we have with our children as they are growing up.  We talk about how decisions are choices that lead toward different paths and the different paths lead toward different life outcomes.  They control the path that they choose to journey.  We are there to guide them, but ultimately, those decisions are not ours, but theirs.

 

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Seriously?? Where do you live? I will gladly teach your kids history if you will clean my floors!! Win-win!  :D

 

Oh, yeah. I like cleaning my floors. Instant gratification. Dirty, now clean! Happy Mom.

History is so not my favorite. That requires hot chocolate to motivate me to tackle it.

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"I am very interested in hearing what you have to say. However, I need you to say it with a smile on your face."

 

My son cannot whine and smile at the same time. He's my chief whiner.

 

Also, with my older kids I remember making an "All complaints must be submitted in writing" sign. I'd just point to the sign when the griping would start.

 

I don't really remember anyone taking me up on it. I guess their complaints weren't important enough to actually put pen to paper.

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I guess you wouldn't call me a zero tolerance parent, because I do allow quite a bit of self expression that some parents would not tolerate.

 

Up to a certain point, I don't make a big deal out of it. I am often heard to say "You don't have to like it, you just have to do it" to the kids.

 

But if the whining, moaning, grouchiness or whatever is getting out of hand, I start "not counting" whatever it is that the kid has done if they have grumbled and argued while doing it. For example "Great: that math lesson is all correct. Now you get to do this one with a better attitude." Or "It looks like you need more practice at doing your chores with a happy heart." And give the kid an extra chore.

 

If the problem is how they approach me, rather than how they react to being asked to do things, I will either ask them to try again or simply remind them: "Sure you can have X. But next time, please say 'May I have X' instead of 'Whyyyyyyyy can't I have X'."

 

Also, I try to avoid engaging with the "Why do I have to do Z" kind of questions. I have found that an easy way to do this is by saying "I'm happy to explain why as soon as you've done it." That closes down the questioning, and 99.9% of the time they do not take me up on my offer to explain why. 

 

Occasionally I - or dh - throw an adult tantrum and start lecturing the kids about how we do 9567 things every day and why the farnarkle can't they do one. little. thing. that we asked them to do without whinging. I don't recommend this approach  :blush:

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My DS is a headstrong boundary pusher.

 

Giving him too wide a berth with whining about school would result in me "losing him" for a good portion of the day.   Burying him under a load of consequences would be no better.

 

Do-overs are perfect.  And I require them until the response, tone, and body language are just right.  It also gives me the opportunity to insert humor, which diffuses DS's drive for world domination.  :)  "Let's try that again without that strange eye disease that causes your eyeballs to float to the ceiling."  "Oh, let's try that again without sounding like you have gas pains."  

 

Keeping the tone light is so helpful, but it also accomplishes my goal for him... which is to begin school with a teachable spirit.  Given DS's personality, it can be the difference between a great day and a horrible one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I just have one and so far the "Oh, I'm sorry, you know I can't understand the language of whine. Let me know when you're ready to ask me in regular old English please." And then I go deaf and mute until he's able to ask in a normal voice. Sometimes it's right away. Other times it takes awhile. Sometimes I remind him that it's in his best interest to finish up our lessons with a good attitude because making it to the pool for member open swim requires us to finish up by a certain time and if his whining prolongs school, then there will be no swimming or tennis or whatever we have planned for the afternoon.

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Problem is my kids don't really have money.

 

For ds I used a marble jar. I stocked it with marbles for the day, it has been far too long and I don't remember how many. The marbles were currency. They were worth screen time: TV, video games, computer. I believe I used 15 minute increments. Then when he behaved in a way I didn't like, I might warn once, but then I'd just reach over and take a marble. If he complained, I'd take another one. He could earn marbles too with extra chores. Ds had some big issues with response inhibition and self control. Using the marbles instead of fighting about his behavior really helped keep things from escalating to yelling and helped him learn control. To be honest, I think, no - I know, he has better self control than I do now. 

 

Dd didn't have such easy currency. She wasn't interested in screens. She was generally far more motivated by rewards than punishments, but it is hard to reward not whining in a way that is very motivational. Sending her away was my best bet. She was super social and never wanted to miss out on anything. If you are going to whine or complain, you're going to stay in your room until you adjust your attitude. That worked until she became a teen and started preferring to spend time in her room away from the rest of us anyway  :001_rolleyes: .

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I am working on not reacting to any kind of whiny nonsense.  "never let them see you sweat" is my new motto.

 

I used to get sooooo irritated and angry bc let's face it - they have a pretty cushy life, what on earth are they complaining about?

 

But I realized that the more I react, the more they do it.  So, thus my new plan

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Do-overs are perfect.  And I require them until the response, tone, and body language are just right.  It also gives me the opportunity to insert humor, which diffuses DS's drive for world domination.   :)  "Let's try that again without that strange eye disease that causes your eyeballs to float to the ceiling."  "Oh, let's try that again without sounding like you have gas pains."  

 

 

I love those :D

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At some point you just have to crack down with a zero tolerance, consequence known, crack down. Sit them down, make a list of what is whining and complaining and every time they do it, they immediately go to the corner and copy 50 times I must ...whatever. I must cultivate cheerful tjoughts or I must work through my complaints on my own, or I must not complain.

 

And a few weeks of this and I'm sure they will improve :) things kind of get out of hand and then you reign them in.

 

Another tning I started about a year ago was to say, "I'm not your dumping zone. If you want to unload your garbage I'm not listening." And leave the room. I explained what I meant by this and now I just say, "I'm not here for dumping," and leave. Honestly.

 

Now if they have a true problem they know they can come to me and say mom I have a problem will you help me come up with ideas? And I will listen.

 

And it ebbs and flows. WHen it gets bad we start writing again...

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My problem was the enforcement. If I gave them chores for whining, they would melt down and whine more! Usually the best thing was to ignore (usually in my locked room) and then proceed once they got themselves together because they knew there was no play time until it was done.

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My problem was the enforcement. If I gave them chores for whining, they would melt down and whine more! Usually the best thing was to ignore (usually in my locked room) and then proceed once they got themselves together because they knew there was no play time until it was done.

 

Yep... This is my issue.  People say oh give them chores.  Yeah that turns into a HUGE chore for me.

 

Although at this point the kids don't really whine as much as they used to.  Except my 9 year old hates school.  So even if it's not whining, he just hates it.  I've tried a lot of things, but I have not found anything that works so well.

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I thought of one other thing related to complaining that I've noticed lately that I find interesting. When the boys were nine and ten, the duration of whining was quite a bit shorter, and there was nothing to it but the "I hate, I don't wanna" over and over. That was easy enough to deal with, because one could point out the whining very easily. 

This year, they are eleven, and you know, darn it all, I'm getting arguments in those complaints. Now, they are very illogical, random things, prone to dragging on, so I'll be setting a time limit on debating, but I recognize the beginnings of how I go through the process of convincing myself that "yes, I have to do what I don't want to do, I don't have to like it, but I will do it, because...." 

I don't want to shut that down. I don't want to listen to it, but I will, because I know what they are trying to do with it. I wish I was better at Logic, because I really think this is where I could do some directing, maybe in a Socratic way, and turn a complaining event into a fifteen minute Logic exercise. Currently I allow a certain amount of monologue and then I have to shut her down, but it is very interesting to me.

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I give consequences. Depending on the day, they may get several warnings, and then I start giving extra chores or taking things away.

 

ETA: We also emphasize: 1. School is their job right now. 2. Homeschooling requires all of us working together in order for it to be successful. 3. They are expected to work diligently & with good attitudes.

 

 

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I thought of one other thing related to complaining that I've noticed lately that I find interesting. When the boys were nine and ten, the duration of whining was quite a bit shorter, and there was nothing to it but the "I hate, I don't wanna" over and over. That was easy enough to deal with, because one could point out the whining very easily. 

This year, they are eleven, and you know, darn it all, I'm getting arguments in those complaints. Now, they are very illogical, random things, prone to dragging on, so I'll be setting a time limit on debating, but I recognize the beginnings of how I go through the process of convincing myself that "yes, I have to do what I don't want to do, I don't have to like it, but I will do it, because...." 

I don't want to shut that down. I don't want to listen to it, but I will, because I know what they are trying to do with it. I wish I was better at Logic, because I really think this is where I could do some directing, maybe in a Socratic way, and turn a complaining event into a fifteen minute Logic exercise. Currently I allow a certain amount of monologue and then I have to shut her down, but it is very interesting to me.

 

Marcus Aurelius. Seriously.

 

The other day I pulled out Meditations and turned to an appropriate passage and started reading aloud. (The book is so rich with appropriate passages for so many situations that it's easy to just flip to random pages and find something.)

 

If that fails, try Machiavelli. Once dd started to understand the wisdom in seeing various ways to get what she wants, she started realizing there is power in sometimes "giving in".

 

Fair warning: The above ideas are not for the faint of heart. In many ways, they have made my life infinitely more difficult.... :glare:  

I'm not sure which is worse, a tantrum and whining or a well-reasoned philosophical argument...

 

 

;)

 

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I don't want to shut that down. I don't want to listen to it, but I will, because I know what they are trying to do with it. I wish I was better at Logic, because I really think this is where I could do some directing, maybe in a Socratic way, and turn a complaining event into a fifteen minute Logic exercise. Currently I allow a certain amount of monologue and then I have to shut her down, but it is very interesting to me.

 

You don't want that. You really don't. I studied logic and my children have been said to be "very articulate". The debates get OLD FAST. And it's misleading to the child. They think they are making headway, but really, there is not a snowball's chance in hell.

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Ok!  I'm back!  So sorry for starting a thread and then disappearing.  It was one of those days yesterday (thus prompting me to start the thread in the first place!)

 

Honestly, right now, I'm at the blow up place some of you mentioned.  I have no patience left for it.  It's so defeating to devote myself to this job and carefully and diligently plan just to have them grumble and complain about having to do it.  Yes, my expectations are reasonable, and yes, they have lots of free time.  Sometimes I'd like to throw them into school just so they can see what it's like to be "busy" all day long and then have homework on top of that.

 

I've tried something like 3 strikes you're out or beads in a jar.  We had linking cubes.  Each child got 2 cubes and if they misbehaved in school they would lose a cube.  Theoretically if they kept both cubes they got a check mark, if they lost one cube they didn't get the check mark, and if they lost both cubes they had a consequence.  5 check marks earned them a reward.  Trouble is, I hated keeping track of it.  I am not a rewards person in general.  Also, taking a cube when a child was already having a hard time tended to escalate things (for one child in particular).  And when someone got a reward and someone else was still days away from the possibility of a reward it put that person in a bad mood (same child ;) )

 

Chores and writing lines are consequences we use.  Maybe for a bit I need to crack down and issue the consequences more frequently; give less leeway for grumbling.  I think we're in the habit now of them grumbling, me getting annoyed, everyone being crabby, me threatening, them feeling like they have the worst life ever.  It's hard to get out from under that and have a good day.

 

Sending them to their room may work, but only if I send them with work to be completed, otherwise it seems counterproductive.  I don't want school to drag on all day because they keep getting 10 minute breaks in their rooms.

 

I love the idea of the redo - responding again appropriately.  I did this a LOT when they were littler and do it a bit now but not as much as I should.

 

I also like the idea of doing extra work if the original lesson is done with a bad attitude.  I threaten it but have never followed through.  I also like "all complaints must be submitted in writing" and "we'll talk about it when you're done".  I've done something similar with other behaviours.  Obey first and then we can talk.

 

Theoretically not engaging, not having any reaction is my goal......but sometimes I lose it.

 

Thanks for helping me to pause, consider all angles, think it through, and get out of the rut of just being completely irritated and unable to see the forest for the trees.

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You don't want that. You really don't. I studied logic and my children have been said to be "very articulate". The debates get OLD FAST. And it's misleading to the child. They think they are making headway, but really, there is not a snowball's chance in hell.

 

 

I don't know. I've not studied logic. All I know is that logically reasoning through why I should get out of bed at a certain time and why I need to do what I don't want to do certainly helps me do it. If I don't want to get up at five thirty, but my reason has proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that I must do that to get through a set amount of chores thus making my day flow better, and giving me an extra hour of study time in the evening, I'll get up. 

So I guess my idea of debate would not be "Tell me why you shouldn't have to do math" but more along the lines of "how will I make myself do what I don't want to do."

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