How to whining and complaining in the bud with as simple and catchy phrase!
Since he was little he’s always had a “the glass is half-empty” kind of perspective. We have tried lots of things and some of them work for the time being but then the whining comes back. The reality is he struggles with whining and complaining and he constantly needs our redirecting.
The reality is he struggles with whining and complaining and he constantly needs our redirecting. This took some time for me to figure out or maybe to accept but now that we have it has helped us know how to better coach him through it.
So with the end of the school year before us, the stress of an international move and all the emotions that we pack around from the busyness of life, our son has reverted to using his whiny voice and immediately goes to complaining.
Time to Make a Change
My husband and I decided it was time to come up with a plan and remind our kids to vent and process our frustrations in a healthy way.
The harsh reality is whining has now become a bad habit in my son’s life. Honestly, the whining annoys me like crazy but it’s not just about how this drives us nuts but who he is becoming the more he engages in this bad habit.
So what does one do to kick a bad habit?
You replace it with a healthy one–you rewire your brain.
Your brain loves efficiency and doesn’t like to work any harder than it has to. When you repeat a behavior, such as complaining, your neurons branch out to each other to ease the flow of information. This makes it much easier to repeat that behavior in the future—so easy, in fact, that you might not even realize you’re doing it.” ~via Dr. Bradberry
There’s obviously more to breaking a bad habit but I wanted to keep it simple here so I’ll stick to two basic things.
The Two Basics to See Change
The first is rewiring our brain and the second is giving ourselves a different label. We need to get out of our head the label that gives us permission to indulge in the bad habit. Stop labeling yourself in correlation to that bad habit. So, if I label myself or believe the label given to me that “I”m a complainer.” then that’s what I’ll do.
Rewiring our brain involves replacing our bad habit with a healthy one in positive terms.
Repeated complaining rewires your brain to make future complaining more likely. Over time, you find it’s easier to be negative than to be positive, regardless of what’s happening around you. Complaining becomes your default behavior, which changes how people perceive you.” ~via Dr. Bradberry
So I began thinking this through and wondered how can I help my child rewire his brain in a way that doesn’t involve tons of conversation to get him to snap out of his whining spell at the moment.
This simple phrase is the key!
The Simple Phrase to Stop the Complaining and Whining
Well, I was looking for something catchy to remind him in the midst or before the whining starts. I think I have found it!
This short phrase I hope will help everyone in our family to remember to think through the situation instead of sulking and whining.
It’s pretty basic but it’s amazingly effective. I have already found myself using it.
Let me explain it.
Stop– Stop and pause for a moment. Take a deep breath or slowly count to 10.
Drop– Whining and complaining doesn’t help the situation, so DROP it. Now you’re ready to think about your situation at hand.
Roll– Then ask yourself- Can I roll with it? Can I go ignore this? Is this something I need to get in a tizzy about? If you can’t then follow the
How it Works
For example, a minor situation would be a change of plans. Our son is looking forward to playing his new video game because I told him he can later in the afternoon. Well, we decide to go out to eat for dinner and we won’t get home until after 7 which means it will be bedtime.
He says in his whiniest voice, “But that’s not fair.”
I stop him before he continues and I say, “Can you talk to me in a normal voice.” He still continues,
“You told me that I can play my new video game.”
I reply, “Stop, Drop & Roll.”
So this simple reminder helped. At the beginning you’ll need to walk your child through it but then you’ll get to the point where you can just say the short rhase and see immediate change.
I walked him through it. Can you stop for a minute and think about what you’re going to say. Now remind yourself to drop the whining and complaining. Then ask yourself can I roll with what just happened? If I can, then I will go with the flow and I won’t let it bother me. If I can’t then I will adjust my tone of voice and attitude. Finally, I will share my concerns in an appropriate tone of voice without the complaining.
My son decides it’s not something he can roll with it. So he says in a more calm and normal voice, “Can I have 10 minutes when we get back from eating out to play my new video game?” I still may respond with something he doesn’t want to hear but we continue to do 1-2-3.
You see with this simple trigger phrase reminds them there are better ways to discuss things than whining and complaining.
This is when new brain paths begin to develop in your child’s brain and they don’t keep going back to the same old bad habit.
Just remember it takes at least 21 days for new brain paths to develop so keep at it even your child is persisting on going back to his bad habit.
Print this Sign to Change Your Child’s Mindset
You can download this free printable by clicking here–stopdroproll1
What has worked or not worked in your home to nip the complaining in the bud?
More Free Printables!
Click on image or see instructions below.
- Download the free printable. You’ll get the printable, plus join my weekly newsletter! Just click here to download and subscribe.
- Print. Any paper will do the trick, but card stock would be ideal.