Your 8 1/4-year-old: No more whining

Your 8 1/4-year-old: No more whining

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Your-8-year-old now

Someone once described whining as "anxiety forced through a small tube," and that's sure what it sounds like. Preschoolers often whine because they lack patience and find that this particular pitch and tone irritate parents enough to get their attention.

Older kids sometimes copy this behavior from a younger child in their world. Or they fall into the habit when sick or grumpy, see that it works, and stick to it.

To stop the whining, first see if you can tell what triggers it. Does your child only whine in certain circumstances, such as when bored? Don't give in, but don't let it continue. Explain, "I don't like that whining voice. I can only hear you if you use a normal voice."

If the whining keeps up, warn of a consequence – for example, she'll need to go to her room until she can talk in a proper voice. If you give in to occasional whines (even if your child is ill), you're more likely to have that grating sound hanging around your house longer than you'd like.

Your life now

Although your child has an increasing ability to see things from someone else's point of view, this maturity of perspective doesn't usually extend to siblings yet. If it did, there might be no such thing as sibling rivalry – which is actually a normal, predictable part of family life.

Expect a little "blind rage" when it comes to understanding a sibling's needs and feelings. Brothers and sisters bicker, and although you can find ways to prevent fights and tone them down, you won't be able to eliminate them entirely.

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