Whining and crying drives me cuckoo. It’s something I’ve wanted to train out of my kids since the moment it reared its ugly head. We are still working on it – believe me – but we have seen major improvement in this area with one piece of advice, “the happy heart.” Since our oldest was 18 months old, we have used this technique to curb whining. If the pouting begins, the child is sent to a removed spot (in our house, the stairs). They stay there until their attitude has shifted. This is not a punishment. It is not a set amount of time. It is always said, “I love having you with me. I want you to be able to play with us and be with us, but it just can’t happen until you are under control with a happy heart.” At that point, the amount of time on the stairs is up to them. It could be a second or an hour (it’s never been an hour at our house, but I’ve heard of it happening). With the littler kids, we had to do some training for them to understand by demonstrating a smile and a calm face. Abby would sit crying and say amid tears, “I have a happy heart.” We also have had to physically put them back until they can gain control. As they grow just a little they understand the concept and can self regulate. We celebrate their return and continue on without the fuss. I have also been known to be cheesy and say, “Oh, I’m sorry. I speak English and a little bit of Spanish. I don’t speak Whinese.” Another phrase is, “I’m sorry I don’t understand a word you’re saying when you talk to me like that.” In the end, we want to get to our child’s heart and not just their behavior. By emphasizing their heart attitude, the focus in the right place.
Day #1 Tip of the Day – Happy Heart
January 1, 2012 by 4 Comments