Monday, September 27, 2010

How To Stop Your Child From Whining

Whining - that pitiful, loud, grating sound - is one of the most irritating of kid behaviors. The pitch is an exasperating blend of crying and nagging that’s annoying as nails on a chalkboard. If that’s not enough, whiners have this amazing ability of stretching syllables so they almost slap you back in your face: “Pleeeeeeease” or “Daaaaad!” or "Mommm!"

Rest assured, all kids whine occasionally, but the surest way to turn this grating attention-getter into a full-fledged habit is to give in, and let your little nagger “win.” Take heed: once you back down and surrender, kids usually continue using the technique as a way to get what they want. Worse yet, if not stopped, whining often escalates to back talk, arguing, and tantrums. So the bottom line is: don’t let your kid think it works.


Step 1. Establish a Zero Tolerance for Whining
The best way to stop the behavior is to flat-out refuse to listen to nagging requests unless it’s spoken with a polite tone. At the first whimper of a whine, firmly say: “Stop! I don’t listen to whining voices. Tell me what you want with a nice tone.” Then walk away or turn around and ignore your kid. Turn back when the whining stops (even for a few seconds) and say: “I do listen to a nice voice. Can I help you now?” The trick is to not to look irritated or to react. Hmmm. Easier said than done, right?

Step 2. Demonstrate Appropriate Voice Tone
Next, show your child what a more acceptable voice sounds like. Please don’t assume he knows the correct way to get your attention. Whining may have become such a habit that he simply isn’t aware of his annoying tone. Take a moment to ensure your child knows what kind of a voice you expect. For example: “Here’s my whining voice: ‘I don’t wanna do this.’ Here’s my polite one: ‘Can you please help me?’ When you want something, make your voice sound like my polite voice. Now you try.” Be careful not to mimic your child: your goal is to be instructional so he understands your expectations without ridiculing.

Step 3. Lay Down Your Rules

Announce that from now on he should expect an automatic “no” any time he whines. Then just flatly refuse to listen to even the first note of a whine uttered from your kid’s lips. Usually whining stops when kids realize it’s getting them nowhere, so your child has to realize that your rule is non-negotiable.

Step 4. Set a Consequence If Whining Continues.
You may be wondering: “What happens if my kid still whines?” The answer is simple: you must set an immediate consequence so your kid knows you won’t tolerate it. And it’s the same for back talk, hitting, spitting, or arguing. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can wait until you’re home to correct your kid’s misbehavior. Wherever the whining occurs is where the consequence must be administered. That may mean the huge inconvenience of changing plans when your kid starts up his whining routine during a shopping outing. But if you really want to end the behavior, you’ll calmly say on the spot: “That’s whining, and you know the rule. We’re leaving now.” Consequences stop bad behaviors, only if they’re used every time the behavior occurs. Take heed: if you don’t follow through, the whining usually increases. That’s because your child has learned you just might give in.

Please remember to praise your kid when he uses the right voice tone. Breaking a habit takes time, so always encourage his good efforts. Above all: don’t give in.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Autism causes kids to experience the world differently from the way most other kids do. It's hard for kids with autism to talk with other people and express themselves using words. Kids who have autism usually keep to themselves and many can't communicate without special help.

They also may react to what's going on around them in unusual ways. Normal sounds may really bother someone with autism — so much so that the person covers his or her ears. Being touched, even in a gentle way, may feel uncomfortable.

Kids with autism often can't make connections that other kids make easily. For example, when someone smiles, you know the smiling person is happy or being friendly. But a kid with autism may have trouble connecting that smile with the person's happy feelings.

A kid who has autism also has trouble linking words to their meanings. Imagine trying to understand what your mom is saying if you didn't know what her words really mean. It is doubly frustrating then if a kid can't come up with the right words to express his or her own thoughts.

Autism causes kids to act in unusual ways. They might flap their hands, say certain words over and over, have temper tantrums, or play only with one particular toy. Most kids with autism don't like changes in routines. They like to stay on a schedule that is always the same. They also may insist that their toys or other objects be arranged a certain way and get upset if these items are moved or disturbed.

If someone has autism, his or her brain has trouble with an important job: making sense of the world. Every day, your brain interprets the sights, sounds, smells, and other sensations that you experience. If your brain couldn't help you understand these things, you would have trouble functioning, talking, going to school, and doing other everyday stuff.

Kids can be mildly affected by autism, so that they only have a little trouble in life. Or they can be very affected, so that they need a lot of help.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


What is normal behaviour for a child?

Normal behaviour in children depends on the child's age, personality, and physical and emotional development. A child's behaviour may be a problem if it doesn't match the expectations of the family or if it is disruptive. Normal or "good" behaviour is usually determined by whether it's socially, culturally and developmentally appropriate. Knowing what to expect from your child at each age will help you decide whether his or her behaviour is normal.

What can I do to change my child's behaviour?

Children tend to continue a behaviour when it is rewarded and stop a behaviour when it is ignored. Consistency in your reaction to a behaviour is important because rewarding and punishing the same behaviour at different times confuses your child. When your child's behaviour is a problem, you have 3 choices:
  • Decide that the behaviour is not a problem because it's appropriate to the child's age and stage of development.
  • Attempt to stop the behaviour, either by ignoring it or by punishing it.
  • Introduce a new behaviour that you prefer and reinforce it by rewarding your child.

Why shouldn't I use physical punishment?

Parents may choose to use physical punishment (such as spanking) to stop undesirable behaviour. The biggest drawback to this method is that although the punishment stops the bad behaviour for a while, it doesn't teach your child to change his or her behaviour. Disciplining your child is really just teaching him or her to choose good behaviours. If your child doesn't know a good behaviour, he or she is likely to return to the bad behaviour. Physical punishment becomes less effective with time and can cause the child to behave aggressively. It can also be carried too far -- into child abuse. Other methods of punishment are preferred and should be used whenever possible.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Dyslexia is a learning problem that makes it hard to read, write and spell. It occurs because the brain jumbles or mixes up letters and words. Children with dyslexia often have a poor memory of written and spoken words.

Sign of dyslexia in children:
  • Talking later than expected
  • Being slow to learn new words
  • Have difficulty pronouncing words
  • Be slow to add new vocabulary word and unable to recall the right word
  • Have trouble learning the alphabet, numbers, days of the week, colours, shapes
  • Problems following directions that have many steps
  • Problems reading a single word such as a word on a flash card
  • Problems linking letters with sounds
  • Reversing the shapes of written letters, such as "d" for"b"
  • Writing words backward such as "homd" for "mohd"
  • Inversion of letters such as "m" for "w", "n" for "u"
  • Develop fine motor skills more slowly than in other children. For example your child may take longer than others of the same age to hold a pencil in the writing position, use button and zippers, and brush his or her teeth.
If your child has one of these signs, it does not mean that she or he has dyslexia. Many children reverse letters before 7. BUT if you child has several signs of reading problems or if you have a family history of dyslexia, you may want to have your child checked for the problem.