Julie Lyles Carr: A Little Thing to Cure a Spot of Whine

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Little Thing to Cure a Spot of Whine

8 and 7 kiss spring soccer

Those days.

The days when kids wake up in full whine.


The Whine Complex is layered and intricate, so I won't insult you by suggesting that I have determined a cure-all.

But I do have a little thing. A small concept that can sometimes head off one of the more common Whine Complex experiences.

It's a countdown clock. It goes a little something like this.

I noticed that when I would tell the kids it was time to turn off the television, put away the toys, get in the van to leave, a wave of whine would head my way. For several of my kiddos, the sudden change in activity seemed to trigger a whine response.

And I am all about not trigging whine responses. All.About.It.

So a few years ago, I began to instill the countdown clock technique. Instead of announcing immediate bedtime, cut-off of movie watching, or bath time, I let the kids know that in 5 minutes, one of these deadlines will arrive.

5 minutes.

And that little thing, that early notice, for some reason seemed to stem the whine tide. For my kids who don't handle change well, it gives them a little time to adapt. And for my kids who like to be in control, it gives them a target for adjusting their demeanor for accordance.

Sometimes it's the little things that can gently subvert the grousing.

5 minutes.

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