We may look like we know how to have fun, and for the most part, we do.  But…We’re real people and we have real problems.

Lately, incessant WHINING and general sibling disputes have paralyzed my life.  I simply can not tolerate incessant whining.  I can’t.  I just can’t.  I wish I could.  I wish I could take me a little chill pill and let the moment pass, but I can’t.

My main goal as a parent is to see my children grow into happy, successful and contributing members of society.  I think about this on an hourly basis.  I sound uptight, don’t I.

My older daughter is very obedient and will do anything to please me.  My second daughter is also a good girl, very cute, fun and playful.  She, however, is not as eager to comply as her sister.

Some days I swear the only thing that will get her to listen to me is if I yell at or threaten her with some grave consequence.  I’m a LOVER not a FIGHTER.  All the yelling makes me tired and gives me a headache.

I will now share a very REAL moment (judge me if you must) I had a few days ago since it led me to a very useful solution.

I was having a day where I just couldn’t take one more second of any of it.  My younger daughter did something rude to her sister, a squabble broke out and I LOST MY MIND with RAGE. It wasn’t this one incident, it was everything over the last several weeks.

I was practically a lunatic.  A raging lunatic.  It was not good for me.  It was not good for my children. They did, however, stop what they were doing immediately and listened intently and complied with my every request.

An hour later, however, it was all back to normal.  Like nothing had happened.  My extreme rage had accomplished nothing.  All the whining and fighting resumed.

I knew I had to try something new.

My older daughter’s Sunday School teacher appears to be dog training the class of six-year-old kids while at church.  He seems to be getting great results from it too.

His theory is this…If you reward good behavior, you’ll see more good behavior and it will choke out the bad behavior.  Each time they exhibit a good behavior they receive a bead.  10 beads = a prize.

I was skeptical that this would work for me.  My younger daughter seemed only to be responsive if she knew I was REALLY mad at her.

Since I can’t stand the thought of fighting any longer, I decided to try it anyway.

I went to Hobby Lobby and bought two bags of colorful little puff balls.  I also bought a bag of licorice and a bag of Smarties.  I also took two jars out of my cabinet.

I explained to the kids that when that when they did something I liked or appreciated, they would receive a puff ball as a reward.  When the jar was full of puffs they could choose between the two treats.

It’s now been several days.  We’ve had ZERO fights.  We’ve had almost ZERO whining.  We’ve had a big reduction in crying.  All the bad behaviors are nearly gone.  I haven’t been frustrated.  I haven’t raised my voice.  I haven’t threatened anyone. I’m mystified.

I know one week of peace does not a happy-home make, but it’s a pretty good start.

I’d love to hear any feedback.  I’m no parenting expert.  What has worked in your homes?  What hasn’t?  Don’t hesitate to share.  If you’ve never made a comment here, it’s super easy.  There is NO typing in strange little letters in a box.  I just need your name, e-mail and your comment.

Anyway…I hope this post was useful for someone.  This little thing seems to be working for us against all odds.  It’s thrilling.

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One Response to A Day With No WHINING

  1. Jenny says:

    Just thought I’d let you know… We are now earning gold doubloons (pirate money), it is cutting down the fights/whining enormously. Hooray for less whining! I can feel my blood pressure going down as we speak. 😉