How To Encourage Children To Stop Complaining

Stop The Constant Complaining!

Are you tired of the constant complaining?¬†Does it seem as though that’s the only thing coming out of your child’s mouth?

This seems to be where my patience runs really thin. I just want to scream “Shut Up, Stop Complaining!” But I have better restraint than that. I know it won’t solve the problem.

I feel I have a fair amount of tolerance as a parent but complaining, whining, and nagging is my top pet peeves from my kids.

stop complaining

Here are some of the things that seem to repeat themselves kid after kid. Do any of these sound familiar?

“Mom why can’t I go.”

“Why can’t I have that. It only cost 5 dollars?”

“She got to do that when she was my age.”

“I feel I have to do more than she does.”

It’s so unfair, everybody else has one.”

“I never get to do anything.”

“She always gets her way.”

I could go on and on and the list would be a mile long. Does this sound familiar to you?

These are the usual things I would say to try to make them stop or at least make them go on.

This one is an oldie but a goodie. Who heard this as a child?

If you don’t stop whining, I’ll give you something to whine about. Oh yes, that’s what my mother would say to us.

How about “because I said so and I’m the parent.”

Or even better yet, “you can’t have it your way, this isn’t burger king!” That one made me so mad as a kid.

With my own kids I would usually just say:

‘That’s just tough, isn’t it.”

“You need to go on and find something to do.”

If your board, I can find something for you to do.”

It’s amazing when you use that last one, they scatter fast. But it only works the first few times they hear it though.

But what do you do when you just can’t get them to stop? All that constant complaining can be so draining on parents.

Finding A Solution To Stop Complaining

There are two ways to go about this. First, you can just be a mom that yells back at your kids, developing an unstable environment.

This will create a whole lot of conflict. Creating a vicious, never-ending cycle of chaos in your home!

I didn’t want this to happen, nor do I believe you want that for your household either.

Here is the second choice that I would recommend. I feel it’s easy for a child to complain

because in a sense they are losing control of what the complaint is about. This also can pertain to adults also.

If our children hear us complaining all the time then they are just mimicking our actions.

If your child is in a never-ending cycle of complaining it’s going to be hard to stop right at first

More than likely your child doesn’t want you to point it out and to try to correct the problem.

They may become frustrated or irritable. But that’s ok this is the behavior you want to change.

Consistency is a must when you are trying to change a child’s habit of complaining.

Staying positive and recognizing that your child is wanting your attention will help deflate the frustration

your child is trying to get across.

I want you to ask yourself these 3 things:
  1. I want you to think about your child and what emotions are causing them to act this way.
  2. Can I keep consistent with how I’m going to react to my child when they won’t stop complaining?
  3. Will you be able to ignore the behavior. By ignoring the behavior, you as the parent have kept the control. You are not ignoring the child and you want to stress that to your child.

Stop The Complaining By Knowing Your Childs Feelings

Now that you have told your child what you will be doing pertaining to the constant complaining there is no turning back. Remember consistency is the key!

So let’s dig deeper and consider what feelings our children are having that is making them complain so much.

Here is where I made mistakes because I tend to want to try to solve the problem instead of listing to my child’s feelings.

I’m kind of a helicopter parent, and yes I own that, I accept that I may have a problem with always trying to solve my children’s problems. (LOL!)

kids complaining

Especially with our two youngest, they have special needs, and I have a tendency to try to smooth things over.

In my fantasy world, I would have my children hold all their complaints until I was ready to hear them. But unfortunately, it doesn’t go that way.

I’m going to give you an example, “my son comes to me and says that his sister is being unfair and won’t listen to him.”

I would in return ask him “how does that make you feel.” I’m showing him that I consider his feelings and am listening to him.

You want them to talk through their feelings and to be able to come up with a solution. I know that sometimes that it can be harder for younger children to find a solution.

So just by guiding them through some basic questions may help.

Sometimes they just want you to hearthem. When you help them navigate through their feelings then the solution comes easier.

Another option I found that worked if your child is complaining multiple times a day. I have popsicle sticks in different colors and I gave 3 away each day.

When those daily sticks ran out so did the complaints. We established that there would be no complaining if you didn’t have a stick to trade-in.

This is the happier side of getting your child to open up about their feelings and to stop the complaining.

Dealing With Complaints From Teens

Now I’m going to give you the other side that usually is the case in our home. When our older two were growing up they sometimes were just extra negative to stir the pot.

So upon having to listen to them complain,  I knew they needed attention. It was usually because they had a problem and just needed to get it off their chest.

This was a good opportunity for me to listen and help them if they were trying to find a solution. I didn’t want to solve their problems but guide them in a way so they were able to solve it for themselves.

Preteens and teens are a special breed and they definitely know how to push our buttons. As parents, if we keep our cool and don’t get sucked in by their behavior we can help tame the COMPLAINT BEAST!stop the constant complaining

Your home is supposed to be their safe place and even if they are showing their rears it’s usually because something else is bothering them.

When we help our children establish that complaining won’t change the situation but rather use this as a time to voice what really is bothering them.

Having an open policy of being able to have your own opinion has truly helped our teens not be so negative. I grew up in a house where you were not allowed to have an opinion and I remember being a complainer as a teen.

I didn’t want this for our children.

In conclusion, if you raise your children from a young age about the tolerance of constant complaining they will probably complain less as teens.

Staying consistent on the rules of complaining is a must and use the popsicle sticks, it works!

Also when it comes to your teens don’t engage with them on their constant complaining. Instead of stepping back and walk them thru the issue and validate their feelings by being understanding.

I found by asking this one simple question “and how does this make you feel,” will change the mood quickly. It opens the door of communication.

Having open communication with a teen is gold in our house!

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Here you will find links to the popsicle sticks that are in different colors. Also having your child to Journal there thought is helpful to get some complaining thoughts out.

You might find this also cuts down on the complaints!

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I really hope some of these tips help. I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment or you can also sign up for my email and I’ll send you some free printables!

Thank You,

Domestic Engineer Mom





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