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How To Deal With Constant Complaining

Question

I have seen a rise in grumbling, complaining, arguing (with each other and with us) from our older boys, ages 4 and 6. I submitted a separate question about the conflict between the boys, but here I would like to ask more specifically about the grumbling, complaining and arguing they do with us as parents.

I have found myself in particular being pulled down to their level and struggling to maintain composure. We don't give in to their arguing (they don't get what they are asking for), but I do think they get some positive reinforcement from our frustration and irritation.

I would love some direction on how we could work to nip these behaviors in the bud instead of letting them grow to the point of parental frustration.

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