Whining Duet in Mirror Stops Tantrum

Whining Duet in Mirror Stops Tantrum

April 28, 2011 Children and Stress 0 Comments

He calls me “Grandma Boom” because we always pound on drums, ding chimes and ring bells. At 2 ½ years old, my grandson, Grayson, is a little fireball. Hyperactive and hypersmart, he’s always on the go.

One day last week as he was interacting with me and didn’t get his way, he started whining quite loudly with his mouth open while stiffening his body. I immediately knew what to do! We were near a mirror, so I picked him up and said, “Look in the mirror, Grayson, when you are whining. See what you look like.” He wouldn’t look but started whining again. So I began whining exactly matching his tone and facial expression. We were one inch apart, face to face, in whining duet. Quickly, in-between whines and face scrunching, I blurted, “Let’s look in the mirror to see how we look when we don’t use our words and just whine.” I turned my head. He turned his head. There we were. Grandma Boom and Grayson whining with awful whining faces in the mirror. That lasted for a few seconds as he whined and studied us doing this together in our reflections. Suddenly, he burst out laughing. Of course, so did Grandma Boom! It was hysterical to see us throwing a whine-fit together.

After the laughter subsided, Grayson playfully made the whining face and sounds again, looking at me to join him and watch in the mirror. I did. Again, we laughed. Then I calmly and gently said, “Grayson, when you use your words instead of whining, it is easier to understand what you are saying. Next time, please use your words.” He looked at me like he was thinking about it. As with most things during toddlerhood, the message and lesson will need to be repeated. But one thing’s for sure…..he will have a strong memory of what he looks and sounds like when he whines and avoids expressing himself verbally. Kids mental health improves as they understand there are more choices available to them than throwing tantrums or manipulating others. Superkid Power is built one step, one skill, one lesson at a time.

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