Guest blogger Gay Uncle: Discounting jokes about air travel, romantic comedies about Americans finding love abroad, and every single policy proposed, supported, or initiated by the Bush administration, there is little in the world more annoying than a whiny child. We all get tired and cranky sometimes, and because they're small and have less stamina, kids tend to get tired and cranky more frequently than we do. So a certain amount of whining is understandable and should be tolerated.
But in actuality, most whiners are made and not born, so if you have one, it's probably at least partly your fault. But it's never too late to change patterns or prevent new ones from taking root. Just do as I say. When your child whines -- especially when the whine is attached to a question, request or demand -- simply remind them calmly to speak to you in a regular voice. If they continue to whine, repeat your admonishment, and then ignore them until they abide. DO NOT EVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE, GIVE IN TO WHINING (Car-ry me. Caaar-ry me.). If you do, your child will quickly come to believe this is an appropriate and effective means to get what they want, and I guarantee that you will have signed yourself, and anyone within earshot, up for a lifelong tasting in your child's extensive whine cellar.
As difficult as it may be, firmly stating your position (We're walking home and you need to walk on your own) providing flat reminders as necessary (I told you, we're walking home. I will not carry you) and ignoring whining, is really the only acceptable choice. You've learned to tune out the sound of your spouse/partner's voice; I know you can learn to add this to your repertoire of the inaudible.