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.
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.