10 Best Tips to Quit Complaining about Your Kids {and Spouse}

Florence Leroy & Christine Lewicki

Florence Leroy Parental Expert & Christine Lewicki Coach & Speaker  –  authors of the French bestseller ” I Quit Complaining about my Kids {and my Spouse}

This article was published in the magazine  PARENTS.fr  written by Catherine Marchi in psychology/family category published in February 2014 – “10 tips to stop complaining about your kids {and your spouse!}”

Are you sick and tired of raising your voice every two minutes?  The authors of the book entitled in French  “J’arrête de râler sur mes enfants – et mon conjoint”“I Quit Complaining about my Kids {and Spouse!}”Christine Lewicki and Florence Leroy,  share their best tips to end this bad habit …
Florence Leroy & Christine Lewicki 4

Florence Leroy & Christine Lewicki

In their book,  “I Stop Complaining about my Kids {and my Spouse!}”, Christine Lewicki and Florence Leroy have created a program to help you wean yourself from this very bad habit. Here are their professional advice to create a new nature.

TIP #1 – Let Go and Choose Your Battles

We have so many principles when it comes to  raising our children. We have a very precise idea of how things “must” be in our homes. So we spend our time complaining when things don’t go as planned. We are so afraid to be too permissive with our kids that we try to control everything. To stop complaining, it’s important to let go of the pressure of the perfect parent and learn to choose your battles. Identify what is really important for you and  in accordance with your values. You can then get your message across with more power and increase your chances of being heard without complaining!

TIP # 2 – Celebrate What is Going Well

Even if things don’t  go according to your wishes, it’s important to acknowledge that everyone contributes to the family life.  Sometimes the efforts made by everyone may be too little (in your eyes) but they are made and if you don’t acknowledge them they will disappear. ” Nothing I do gets noticed! so why bother?” By concentrating on the things that are not done (or not the way you like it) you don’t even notice what is going well. So turn on the radar “the detector of things going well” in your family and take the time to name them and to celebrate what is going in the right direction.

TIP # 3 – Rely on the power of routines

A routine is every thing  that can be written on the little things you or your child must do each day. For example, after diner, get into pajamas and leave the clothes on the chair, brush our teeth, go to bed and wait for mom or dad to read a story. Routines will not simplify our life if they are not clearly identified. To stop complaining, make sure that your daily organization does not create more stress than serenity!  If your  unmet expectations make you complain, they must be changed (get up a little earlier, prepare your clothes the night before…),  until they become good habits for your family. Then you won’t need to complain anymore to get things done!

TIP # 4 – Make your demands face-to-face

Has this ever happened to you ?  it’s time to leave and you find yourself yelling at the bottom of the stairway or at the end of the apartment while finishing up getting ready in a frenzy. You end up complaining because your child is either not going fast enough according to you, or worse he didn’t stop playing. What’s going on from the child’s point of view ? They are playing, having fun, drawing, they are in their world in the moment where the thought of leaving and getting ready is non-existent for the time being.  So when we address our kids with yelling and at a distance, our world doesn’t connect to their world. They don’t react. This is why it’s important to connect and make our demands  face to face and eye to eye. It’s in the eye that your child will understand emotion. When you take the time to connect visually at his or her height for example, you are creating rapport and connecting heart to heart and have a better chance to receive a positive response.

TIP # 5 – Sit on the floor and take your child in your arms

If your child is pushing your limits and you are on the brink of screaming, your reflex may be to flee or to shut him down ” Stop it you are driving me nuts with your whining” . However, what your truly child needs at the moment, is your presence.  He is probably only acting out to get you attention. His reservoir of love it empty and as long as you don’t fill it up a little the situation will not change. Remind yourself that the more you want to push your child away, the more you need to take your child in your arms. Try it! Let yourself go, sit on the floor ( at his level) and ask if he wants a hug. Everything will be back to normal in 5 minutes.  It’s incredible how the effects of  physical contact can do good in your relationship.

TIP # 6 – Practice the mirror

When your child is having a tantrum and repeats 50 times that he wants a candy “right now” hoping you’ll give in, you yell at him to stop, you complain, knowing by experience that it won’t work.  Change your tactic and practice the mirror.  Reflect your child’s desire to show him that you understand and that you connect with his frustration. Tell him for example, “I know, you don’t care that it’s dinner time, you want a candy right away, you really want a candy and it annoys you that your mommy says no.” the fact of feeling heard can satisfy a big part of his desire and he is more likely to let it go.

TIP # 7 – Express yourself to be heard

When we whine and complain, we think that the others  our kids, our spouse…) will get that there is a problem and that they will do what we want them to do (or stop doing what we don’t want them to do).  Something is not working for us and we use the strategy of whining or blaming (unconsciously) to get a reaction.  The problem is that the complaining only creates the opposite of the expected reactions. The other person will either flee and ignore us or rebel and defend themselves. Nobody (including me) likes to be made wrong. If you want to stop complaining, you will have to learn to communicate in another way to be heard. Express what you are witnessing, what you are feeling, what you desire, speak in your name in the first person without accusing the others or making them wrong.

TIP # 8 – On the brink of an explosion, breathe, speak softly or sing

Taking the time to breathe deeply  when a situation stresses you allows you to get some air, to calm down and also to show the children that you know how to manage the pressure you feel.  Then if your child is agitated and screams, talk to him in what what seems like an exaggerated soft voice to try to understand what is going on. If you start screaming too things will only get worse. Speaking in a low voice, will make your child  calm down in order to hear what you are saying. In case of extreme tension, you can also try singing. Don’t start singing a happy tune or a lullaby. Sing out your frustration (own it don’t accuse anyone) on a musical air you like. Your child will be surprised and this will allow you to appease  your emotions without screaming and without harming your relationship. You’ve probably noticed that we always regret screaming!

TIP # 9 – Give yourself permission to take care of yourself well

This is one element that is the most important of this challenge . As parents, we have gotten used to sacrifice ourselves, our needs and desires after those of our children and our couple.  To succeed in quitting complaining, this will obviously have to change!  Dare to make yourself happy without guilt  and without thinking  “this  will bother others, it’s not reasonable”.  Taking care of ourselves is as urgent and important than taking care of others.  Give yourself permission to do what would make you happy, otherwise you will feel resentment towards life and you will complaint and resent others!

TIP # 10  – Agree to disagree and follow the principle that the one who is doing it is right

Make a deal with your spouse so that each of you can really have a place in the education of your children and in the manner to manage the family logistics.  This way each person will feel free to be themselves and to be respected. Often what makes us complain is the different way (different from our way) that your spouse handles the situations.  The truth is that each person reacts with his values and his past, which is of course different. What seems normal to one can appear unacceptable  to the other. Accept the fact that even with their  differences and imperfections, the other is as legitimate  in the education of the children. This is a step towards more serenity and well-being. In the end, what is more important in our lives? The way, your spouse let your child go to school with uncombed hair or your relationship with each other?  Agree to disagree and follow the principle that the one who is doing it  is right. If your spouse is truly doing something that is incompatible with your values and routines, take the time to discuss it the two of you later calmly.

So there you are ….these are the 10 best tips! and there’s more…what do you do and please feel free to share your best tips!

Come & visit us on the Facebook page too!

Love and Respect,


Christine Lewicki

© 2014

Want to you use this article in your newsletter, blog, or on your website? You can, as long as you include the following blurb:

“Christine Lewicki is a Bestselling Author, Speaker & Coach. She is committed to help people quit complaining and become entrepreneurs of their lives. You can download your FREE ”I Quit Complaining Starter Kit”  on her blog www.iquitcomplaining.com

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