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whining and crying

2 answers
I just started looking after a 5 year old girl, just starting kindergarten. She whines and cries when we walk to and from school. She's a VERY loud crier, and I don't know how to get her to stop. She cries about her legs being tired, her backpack is too heavy, everything. She's the oldest of 3 girls in her family. How do I get her to stop?

answers (2)

Maybe walking to school is hard for her. Maybe her complaints are legitimate. Kids are smaller than we are, it can be easy to forget they don't have the stregnth or endurance we expect. If you absolutely have to walk try letting her ride her tricycle or bike so that it's a little easier for her. She may also not be enjoying school yet so she may be trying to stall. Find out how she is doing at school to rule this out. Does she have the same problem after school? If not, I'd say she just doesn't want to go to school because she isn't enjoying it yet. If this is her first school experience it may be a little scary and strange for her. Or, it may be that it's different from the pre-school or day care she is used to.You could also try giving her a reward for being good and not whining, although I try not to do this for most things. I don't want to bribe my kids into good behavior. But, in certain situations it can work. Try giving her a sticker once she gets to school or give her a special treat with her lunch.
While the length of the walk is a good point, I'd also look at what you're doing during the walk.  If you're trying to walk three blocks with her and you're on your cell phone the entire time, paying no attention to her, then yeah, she's going to whine because for her, the walk is BORING.  Talk to her, engage her in conversation, in the morning talk about what she's going to do at school that day and what you're going to do while she's there, in the afternoon talk about what she and you both did, and what you'll do when you get home.  Point out the cars on the road and the bugs on the trees and the flowers in the gardens. Count how many red trucks you see going by, how many steps you climb, how many trees have changed their leaf colors so far.  Keep her mind active and the walk will fly, and you're less likely to hear the whining. 

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