Jackson is a whiner.
He knows every crack in the dirty sidewalks of Whineville.
Yes, I will admit this is an inherited trait.
My parents have regaled me with tales of my never-ending whining. So as the cycle continues, now it is my turn to hear the whiny-whine-whine that comes with snack requests, bedtime stalling, fears, don't-want-tos, etc.
Whining is the name of his game.
We tried some traditional tactics like pretending not to hear him when the first syllable whines its way out of his mouth. It worked sometimes but was really hit or miss. And his frustration from feeling as though he wasn't being heard would overcome any thoughts about actually stopping the whine.
So then we tried mapping out a plan and explaining thoroughly that "every time you whine, we are going to ignore it." He agreed. But again the strategy to de-whine the boy was never consistent.
There's been a load of compromising. It's almost as though he can't help it. He doesn't even realize he is doing it.
So during most whine-isodes I would just stop him and say "I can't understand you," until the whining would stop and the request would start again at a much better pace.
This was still hit or miss. And frankly not really fun for anyone.
So we have a new method.
Dare I even blog about it lest it jinx our wonderful new plan?
I have to.
Its awesomeness must be shared.
I'm not sure how it even came about, but one day we were listening to some music on youtube and Eric was just selecting a few oldies when he started to play a little of fellow-Arkansan Glen Campbell.
Suddenly the classic Rhinestone Cowboy song came belting into the room.
Jackson was memorized with the song.
What's not to like? Weird strolling cowboy, beautiful white horse, a rose-embroidered rodeo outfit and a chorus everyone loves to belt out.
And speaking of belting, we love to randomly belt out in song regularly in our house. Sometimes as a response in any conversation or sometimes for no reason at all.
Can you see where this is going?
After all that being silly and singing stuff, later in the evening Jackson began to request for something. I don't even know what it was because all I could hear was whinewhinywhine. So I broke into his sentence with a little: Like a rhinestone cowboy!
And suddenly the whining transformed itself into a normal conversation. He restarted his request with a normal tone.
It was like that white horse had just star-spangled its way into my kitchen and waved a magic wand.
I tested out my Glen-Campbell-hypothesis a few more times.
It worked. Every time.
The best part: I didn't have to be the bad guy.
Now, all I have to do is belt out a little Whinestone.
No whining and highly entertaining for myself.
Really a parenting win-win.
Who knew Glen was so good with kids?
Extra credit: How many Rhinestone Cowboy lyrics are in this post?