What to Do With a Whiny Child

July 25th, 2012

Ok Mr. of the Day,

What do you do with a Whiny child?

Mama Amahama

Dear Mama Amahama,

You have a freaky weird name. Also, it’s good to know that your location is “home” and not “the library” or “a coffee shop” or “the Maricopa County Maximum Security Correctional Facility For Women, State Farm Road Number 31, Tempe, Arizona.” I mean, most people say they’re from Detroit or wherever, but you’re from home. Sort of like ET, except you haven’t traveled to another planet yet. (Or so you say…)

Do you want advice on what you should do with a whiny child, or do you want to know what I do with a whiny child? Because one answer will produce marginally positive results, and the other will possibly result in criminal charges against you. Just kidding! I would never advocate the non-medical administration of tranquilizers to a child! Ha ha! And for two reasons: 1) tranquilizers are expensive, and 2) a court order prohibits me from doing so.

I noticed you mentioned the child is Whiny with a capital W. Moms always use capital letters when a kid behaves especially badly. I can tell you mean business!

The first thing you need to know is that when a kid is whiny, it’s usually the result of some other, seemingly unrelated condition, like being hungry, being tired, or being a child. Has your kid had enough to eat recently? Has she had enough valium sleep? Is she under the age of 18?

You may notice I have assumed your child is a girl. Please don’t misunderstand me; I deplore sexism and stereotypes. It’s simply easier in the English language to assign an unknown person a gender for the purpose of discussion. Also, whiny kids are always, AWLAYS girls. Just sayin’.

Anyway, you have to figure out what your daughter’s problem is and fix it. Feed her more often. Put her to bed earlier. Kick her out of the house until she’s a legal adult, and then wait a few more years for good measure before allowing her back.

If none of that works, try the old parenting standby: hollow threats. Personally, I like to tell them I’ll sell them to the gypsies. “Experts” discourage this tactic because inevitably a child will call your bluff, and then you’ll look weak and have an even harder time disciplining your kid. But the secret is to act just crazy enough that your kids think you might actually follow through with your insane punishments.

Have a friend your kids don’t know come to your door dressed as a gypsy. Better yet, make friends with some real gypsies. When they knock on your door, bring your daughter in front of them and tell them you’re sure she will learn to work hard, but they can have a discount because she whines so much. If that doesn’t seem to get to her, exchange money, give her a hug and a kiss, and tell her you’ll never forget her. Take it as far as you need to for her to break.

You may have some concerns about this, such as, “Will this scar my child for life?” “Doesn’t this perpetuate inaccurate racial stereotypes?” or “Do gypsies really pay money for whiny children?” The answer to all those questions is a resounding yes! What is the point of being a parent if you don’t get to mess up your kids a little? The world would be a very boring place without deep emotional childhood traumas!

I think a word of caution is in order here. In the event that you actually end up selling your daughter, you may want to take some of that money the gypsies gave you and use it as a down payment for a good lawyer. Law enforcement officers are generally not very understanding about things like accidental child trafficking. If you aren’t careful, you may find yourself writing your next request for advice from the Maricopa County Maximum Security Correctional Facility For Women, State Farm Road Number 31, Tempe, Arizona.

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