Whining Is Not A Strategy

There is an old saying that we all know:  The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

In other words, those who complain the loudest and the longest and in the most annoying repetitious way possible —  get what they want.  Except from me, then no, they get nothing.

My policy is this:  I don’t negotiate with terrorists or toddlers. Or those who behave as such.

At the House of Antique, if you are whining, the answer is automatically NO.  If you continue whining, you will get the Antique Mommy fish eye, which has been known to stop a charging rhino in it’s tracks.  And if you still insist on whining, well let’s just hope you’ve got your salvation plan worked out.

It would seem that whining is built into children, as a survival mechanism, as all children try it out at one time or another.  Which, now that I analyze that, it would appear as though I am devoid of the instinct to see to the survival of my child.  Yet?  So far, so good.

Some people are gifted in their ability to tune out annoying noise, and those people become teachers.  I can’t think or have a conversation if the TV is blaring, and the leaf blower makes my eardrums ache.  But I would take 1000 leaf blowers over one 40-pound child whining PleasepleasepleasePLEEEEEaaaasssee-PUH-leeeze-Uh!

Sean is a super bright boy and he figured out early on that whining and saying “please” in various intonations four hundred times in a row was not going to work with me.  I think he tried it out once or twice, and after he fully recovered from the sting of the fish eye, he moved on in search of other more civilized candy-getting tactics.  Back in the day, when he was my grocery store boyfriend, we’d pass a kid who was whining and he’d just keep licking his Tootsie Pop and shake his head as if to say, “Whining – what an unsophisticated strategy.”

Last year, I was doing a project in Sean’s classroom and this one particularly energetic boy jumped out of his seat and ran up to me and started jumping up and down waving his hand in my face (which is a good way to lose a hand) and started in with the PickmePickmePleasePleasePleeeeeezPrettyPleasePickMe!  Sean came to my rescue (or maybe he came to the boy’s rescue) and nudged him and quietly said, “Dude.  She won’t respond to that.  If you’re whining the answer is automatically no.”

I gave the boy a my crazy lady half smile-half fish eye and he slunk back to his seat.

12 thoughts on “Whining Is Not A Strategy

  1. Oh, so that’s what you call it when you glare down and stare down naughty – the fish eye.

    My rule was “NO and NO FUSS.” Same policy, if you don’t ask in a nice way, the answer is no.

    I loved Sean’s comment about “unsophisticated strategy.”

    I think kids perform at the level they are expected to and allowed to.


  2. Oh, how I have missed your delightfully snarky posts! I, too, have no patience for whining . . . but I don’t think I’ve ever seen responses described so winningly as yours! Love the “fish eye” and “salvation plan” comments, particularly. 🙂


  3. I misread the title of this post. I thought it was going to be about how “Winning is not a Strategy” – how not to be overly competitive with your child, or something in that vein.

    Anyway, where were we? Ah yes… WHINING! Agree with you. Can’t bear it. I used to say “I’m not going to have this conversation”, but now my children are older and smarter, they respond “You can’t say that – you just DID have that conversation!”


  4. Love this! My younger daughter (now 20), often tells us stories of what she did when she was sent to her room for whining (she spent many hours there alone contemplating her whining ways)! We laugh now. We didn’t then.


  5. I totally agree. When my kids whine, if it’s something that I would be happy to help them with like getting a drink, I make them wait five minutes then come back and ask nicely.

    Have you seen that commercial where the kid whines through the whole grocery store and she finally gives him a box of fruit roll-ups? Drives me crazy.

    * * *
    Ugh. No I haven not seen it. Moms everywhere should unite and write letters of protest to the fruit roll up people.


  6. I agree 100%. Whining, to me, is like nails on a chalkboard. It pushes every bad button in me.
    Glad you’re writing again!


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