2 1/2 Year Old Son Very Whiny, Clingy

Updated on March 20, 2012
N.F. asks from Warren, MI
7 answers

Hello Moms,
I'm looking for some help! My 2 1/2 year old son out of no where has started to be really whiny, clingy and at times will "cry" while rolling around on the floor. He's been a very well mannered little boy since birth and this behavior is completely out of the "norm" for him. I'm unsure as to what this is... a tantrum? is he bored? frustration?
At times, he acts like this several times a day... when things won't go his way, he doesn't know what to do with himself, almost as if he is bored, but when he does have something he wanted and it doesn't function the way he wants he gets like this as well. He's always been a real independent little boy, enjoyed playing with his toys on his own (of course my husband and I play as well with our son in between) but for the most part he's liked his independence. He's our only child and has rarely acted like this before.
Is this a stage he's going through or could something else be potentially bothering him? He doesn't seem ill or like anything else may be going on, but I'm unsure where this came from or how to handle it. Thank you for your help!

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answers from Pittsburgh on

"Independence" isn't a common trait for the under 2 crowd.....

Personally, I'd recommend you get his ears checked and make sure he's not getting teeth.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

Interesting question from a first time user!



answers from Pittsburgh on

Hey Nikki, I too have a 2 1/2 year old son and he is exactly the same way. The only difference is my son has been very high maintenance since birth. As he matured, he got a L. better, but within the last month or so he has become very clingy/fussy again. He wants me to hold him all the time and WILL NOT play on his own at all! He whines and whines constantly about everything and is so impatient. If my husband tries to play with him or hold him, he gets mad and screams... he only wants me. It is very frustrating and exhausting for me. We've been having some difficulty with his bowel movements and he seems to have allergies, which is probably contributing to his fussiness. Just yesterday I it occurred to me that his molars could be bothering him so that could be an issue too. OR, it could just be a phase! I just want you to know that there are others going through the same thing! It is VERY hard, but I just try to be sympathetic and give him extra hugs when he is like this. BTW, I have a 4 year old daughter who has always been an easy child, but around the age of 3-3 1/2 she started having the "terrible 2's" Out of the blue, she started throwing tantrums and becoming very whiney and I was shocked because I didn't expect it. Your son could just be going through a stage.


answers from Gainesville on

my little boy is an angel, my middle child. He is getting a nose cold and is the fussiest, winiest little munchkin today. My brain cant function right he is so fussy



answers from New York on

I think 2 1/2 is the hardest age. Does he go to preschool or a babysitters? It sounds like he might be bored and not know what do do with himself. He could be getting his 2 year molars which might be bothering him. With the weather being so nice, try to take him out as much as possible and see if that helps.



answers from Detroit on

Thanks for the help ladies! He did just start to break a two year molar do it could be others coming through. I know his ears are somewhat fine because we are already on an antibiotic for an ear infection from last Thursday. The only thing I can think of is this is a phase or his molars are bothering him... I know it's not his bowel movements because those are just fine. Thanks again for all your responses!


answers from Detroit on

Although this is a normal stage to go through, don't let that make you take a back seat and "wait it out". His will is springing forth and it important for you to teach him how to express anger, frustration and learn that he can't always get his way.

Time out is a great option, Super Nanny has some great tools there. I'd also suggest posting some general rules (no temper tantrums - whining, screaming, kicking/flailing, throwing self on floor, No mean words, No hurting, Being respectful of others things - your books, electronics, others toys (sharing), No destroying property - drawing on wall, in books, ripping things up, etc..) that cover most behaviors. Select pictures (google will find lots to choose from, and have him help so he knows what the picture means) for each rule, and post in an obvious place like the fridge. Remind him of the rule each time he starts to break it, give him a firm warning and point to the rule. Then if he breaks it, you go to the rule and say, you broke the rule and you will go into time out.

This worked really well with our oldest child, she needed to know what was expected and have no surprises. Need to implement with 2nd child who is same age as your son - this is a great reminder. :)

Best wishes!