I worked with a kindergarten class on the book called Whiny Walrus where the Walrus learns different ways to deal with frustrations other than whining. This is definitely a needed lesson for kids aged 4-6. However, I have realized that there are many adults that could use this lesson too.
Don't shine a light on the frustration
And even though it is always important to acknowledge our feelings (and that of a child) it is equally important to then let it pass and change our focus. Whining and complaining actually highlights the frustrating issue and makes our brain focus on them instead of focusing on a more positive thought. Many books focus on the power of intention and warn people that focusing on the negative will only bring more negative to their lives. So, like Whiny Walrus we should find other ways to deal with our frustrations. Perhaps we can find the lesson and learn from it, maybe we can focus on the more positive things in our lives and let go of the negatives.
Project Life: Stop Waiting for Your Happy to Happen by Christine Grauer shows that whatever happens to us doesn't define us. It can make us stronger if we choose to love life. A great book to show the importance of focusing on what is important, what is good to help us move forward.
Add cheese to your whine
The kindergarten children, when asked about how we can change our whining habits offered suggestions like: focus on something else, try something before you decide you can’t do it, ask friends for help. All great advice from 4 to 6 year olds.
So when you find your frustration level peaking just remember the lesson of Whiny Walrus and redirect your thoughts to something more positive, make plans for improving the situation and put out that positive energy rather than the energy that can create more frustrations. Allow your mind to redirect that whiny feeling and watch how your situation can improve.
When you add some cheese (a smile) to your whine you will find that frustrations become easier to deal with, and the positives of the situation become more apparent.
Pick up a copy of Whiny Walrus HERE and help open a discussion with your children about how they can learn to deal with frustrating situations.
Big Life Journal offers a great tip cheat to help respond to children who are whining and complaining. These tips could help us too when we are getting overly frustrated with a situation. Rather than feeling overwhelmed by a situation learn to feel empowered by it.
"What you're supposed to do when you don't like a thing is change it. If you can't change it, change the way you think about it."