Tips for How to Handle Whining in the Classroom

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Do you have students who often talk in a “whiny” voice or complain quite a bit? First, know that it is normal… especially in an early childhood classroom! Our students are young, and many things are new to them. This can lead to our kiddos feeling big emotions without knowing how to express them appropriately. We’re here to help! Keep reading for some tips on how to handle whining in the classroom!

*For more tips on how to create a positive AND playful learning environment in your classroom, be sure to join us in P.L.A.Y. (Playful Learning All Year)!

Do you have students who talk in a “whiny” voice or complain quite a bit? Check out these tips on how to handle whining in the classroom!

Tips for How to Handle Whining in the Classroom

Think back to when you were a teenager. Some things felt like a HUGE deal then, but now they wouldn’t feel like a big deal. It’s the same with your students, even more so.

It IS a big deal when someone takes their crayon and it IS a big deal if someone looks at them wrong. Dealing with tattling and teaching kids how to share are important topics that we tackle in an early childhood classroom. But learning these social skills (and many more!) takes time and practice!

But in the meantime, what do we do when these issues and “big” deals lead to whining?

Whining in the classroom is common and sometimes hard to handle.

Try These Tips!

If a student is speaking to you in a high-pitched whiny voice, don’t tell them to “stop whining.” Say this instead: “I would love to help you right now, but I’m having a hard time understanding you. Could you please speak to me in your big, school voice?”

Then, stop engaging. Kindly move on until the student is ready to speak in a calmer voice. This gives the student time to find that voice without an audience if they need to calm down. Self-regulation is an important skill to teach our students. Setting them up for success in a situation like this is a great way to promote this skill.

And remember that some students may have a naturally whiny voice and that’s okay! That just means that they are most likely already using their big voice.

Finally, practice with the class at Circle Time so they know what their big, school voice sounds like.

Practice how to use big, school voices at Circle Time.

Modeling is a great way to help your students know how to regulate and switch on their big, school voice (instead of whining!) when they need to.

Want to stress less with even more “must-try” tips while learning how to create a “Playful Learning” environment?

(even if you “aren’t allowed to play”)

If you’re wanting to incorporate playful learning, free-flowing centers, effective routines, and more in your Pre-K or Kindergarten classroom, then you’ll definitely want to join us in P.L.A.Y. (Playful Learning All Year)!

This P.L.A.Y. course is a deep dive into practical ways that you can create a playful learning environment in your classroom!

This course is a deep dive into practical ways that you can create a playful learning environment in your classroom. Be sure to request an invitation so you’re the first to hear when the virtual doors open!

The Kindergarten Connection
Tips for How to Handle Whining in the Classroom
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