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When whine comes to town

By Robin Dearing
"Please talk in a normal voice," I remind Margaret. "This is my normal voice," she squeeks out in a tone that is so whinny that only dogs can hear it. The whine. Oh, how I loathe it. She whines when she doesn't get what she wants, when she has to do something she doesn't want or sometimes just because it's what 5-year-olds do to make sure there is no peace in the valley. Sometimes the good mom in me remembers that I should not get flustered and give the whine no audience. Sometimes the bad mom in me completely freaks out when I hear the whine. The whine is powerful, but it can be combatted ... or so I hope. Whenever the good-mom is more present than the bad, I remind her gently, without frustration, that whinning gets her nowhere and that she should take a moment to gather herself and attempt communication on a level that doesn't make her mom's ears bleed. She's actually come around to this fact. Of course, it has helped that she went to a wonderful preschool and kindergarten where self-control was an important goal. I really believe that it does take a village and that by surrounding my kid with positive, loving influences, she's growing into a person that takes stock of her attitude and realizes that you catch more candy if you leave the whine behind.