The program worked like magic. In just three days our boys became non-whiners just as the booklet promised. It was not so, however, for their mother.
For this mother of two young world-class whiners, the techniques described in the booklet seemed way too simple to be effective; the promised results too good to be true. In desperation, however, I decided to give the anti-whining program—promised to be appropriate for toddlers and up—my best shot by following the simple daily instructions.
Whenever a boy whined, I got down to his level, looked him straight in the eye, and said in a firm-yet-gentle voice, Stop whining! I cannot listen to you when you whine because it gives me a headache.
Next, I imitated what he said and how he said it, right down to his nasally, high-pitched, singsong tone. Last, I restated what he had said in a grown-up voice leaving out the complaining and blaming, and required him to repeat it to me in his normal voice.
I did this no fewer than 967 times before bedtime on Day One.
On the second day after I demonstrated the correct way to communicate, the author told me I was to turn away and ignore the child until on his own he restated without whining, blaming, or complaining.
On this day in our anti-whining journey, if either boy whined, I was to turn away and ignore him completely as if he were invisible. The boys would get my attention only when they did not whine.
The program worked like magic. In just three days our boys became non-whiners just as the author promised. They learned quickly how to state the need without whining, complaining, or blaming. It was not so, however, for their mother.
I had my own style of whining. It was adult-sized and somewhat more socially acceptable. I whined in my thoughts and attitudes.
We don’t make enough money; I want everything everyone else has; I don’t want to wait—I want it right now! I work hard, and I deserve it!
I whined my way into fancy new cars and things like a mink jacket. I whined until I got what I wanted and then whined about our miserable financial condition. Whine, whine, whine, whine, whine.
Even on the road to financial recovery I whined, blamed, and complained: It’s too hard; I want to be a stay-at-home mom; it’s not fair; I cannot take this anymore; no one else has it this rough.
Look me in the eye
One day out of utter frustration with myself and recalling those sessions with my kids, I sat myself down and looked myself straight in the eye. Stop whining! I cannot listen to you when you whine because it gives me a headache.
I repeated some of my loathsome whinings, shocking me nearly to death. Do I really sound like that?
Treatment is clear
I had to completely ignore myself when I whined. I could not pay attention to myself when I blamed, complained, or whined.
Truth even clearer
As long as I was willing to see myself as the victim of my circumstances, nothing was my fault. And as long as I rewarded myself with sympathy and attention, I just kept whining, blaming, and complaining.
The results were astounding. It took a few days, but I stopped whining, too.
Are you a whiner?
Are you into blaming and complaining? Maybe it’s an ugly divorce, huge medical bills, skyrocketing inflation, sudden unemployment, and unfair circumstances that were not your fault.
I have a suggestion. Sit yourself down, look yourself straight in the eye, and say: Stop whining! I cannot listen to you when you whine because it gives me a headache. Refuse to listen to that anymore.
Then get busy digging yourself out of that pit of despair. Commit to doing whatever it takes to turn your situation around without whining, blaming, or complaining.