While Momania’s Theresa Walsh Giarrusso takes a vacation, local dad and sportswriter Andy Johnston will be filling in. He loves war movies, obsesses over his fantasy baseball team and makes a mean stir-fry. You can e-mail him at email@example.com.
There’s a rule in our house: No whining.
It’s not written down on a stone tablet or anything and there isn’t a stringent punishment if it is broken, but if someone is whining, which occasionally happens with Lori and much more often with Ty, it’s usually stopped by a two-word warning:
I was raised not to whine, have never enjoyed whiny friends or co-workers, hated Doug and Wendy Whiner on that old “Saturday Night Live” skit, and don’t want Ty to get used to the idea.
I’ve always thought whining to be annoying, and now I have proof.
A new study has proven what all parents already know. The noises coming from a whining child are some of the most distracting sounds on this planet says research published in the latest edition of the Journal of Social, Evolutionary, and Cultural Psychology.
Rosemarie Sokol Chang of the State University of New York (SUNY) New Paltz and Nicholas S. Thompson of Clark University in Worcester, Mass., the paper’s authors, had volunteers try to complete math problems while listening to an assortment of sounds in their headphones, according to Reuters.
“Six different sound conditions were created through the headphones: toddler whines; baby cries; motherese; the more neutral speech of two grown-ups in conversation; the screeching table saw; and silence.
“All of the speech used in the recordings was in languages unfamiliar to the volunteers, to ensure that the effect of the speeches’ prosody, and not its meaning, was being tested.
“The volunteers completed the fewest problems and made the most mistakes while trying to block out the sound of a whiny infant, regardless of whether they were male or female, or whether they had children of their own. The error rate was nearly twice that of the problems completed to the backdrop of the screeching saw.”
Motherese, which was described as the baby talk that parents say to their children, and crying babies also drove the volunteers to distraction, but couldn’t compete with whining.
That’s why our house is a whine-free zone. At least some of the time.
Does a child’s whining get on your nerves? Is it the worst sound your child makes?
How do you keep your child from constant whining?
- By Andy Johnston, for the Momania blog