26 answers

"4 Year Old Not Listening and Whining All the Time"

Hello
My son is 4 years old and he seems to whine all the time. He'll ask me for something in a whiney voice and if I say that he can't have it, he'll whine even more. I have told him to not whine and to ask me the right way in his "regular" voice and I won't give it to him unless he asks me right. He'll just continue to whine about everything, that he's hungry, thirsty, wants a snack, that he wants to go do this, and that he doesn't want to do that, and it is wearing my patience. Sometimes I resort to yelling at him to get him to quit whining and I hate yelling but it seems that yelling is the only way he'll quit whining (sometimes). I have even tried explaining to him that when he whines he is not going to get what he wants and that he needs to be a big boy and not whine. I have also tried taking things away, to get him to stop whining and it seems that when I take things away, he says "okay I'll stop whining, give me back my toy" and I'll tell him that "it's too late he should have quit whining when I asked him to the first time." Then he'll really throw a fit and whine and cry, so I'll either just leave the room or put him in his own room and he'll continue to whine and cry for about 20 minutes. It seems that I have tried everything, and nothing works. I am just wondering why he whines so much, the first thing out of his mouth is whining about something almost all the time. Any suggestions on what I can do, or why he might be doing this? I would greatly appreciate any advice.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Okay, so first of all thank you all so much for responding. I appreciate everyones comments and suggestions. This weekend I sat down with my son and made sure he knew what it sounded like when he whined and showed him the difference between whining and talking in our normal voice. Then I explained to him that Mama likes it better when he doesn't whine and that I can't hear him when he does whine. So from now on I am going to ignore him when he whines. He didn't whine too much this weekend, but I only had him until Saturday. I think buying the book "Creative Discipline" is a great idea. Thanks again!

Featured Answers

I have not had that problem with my children. I remember watching Super Nanny once and the parents on that show had the same problem. The nanny told them that when their child wines at them, the parent should wine back instead of just talking.

1 mom found this helpful

the toy thing works right away - he needs an immediate consequence. take the toy away immediately when he starts to whine, give it back when he stops - even if you're not really ready to.

make an "I asked without whining" chart and provide a reward, or just verbally reward him when you catch him asking you politely.

When he does whine, smile and say "what do you say?" (please), and most of all don't let him get the best of you. If you have to, run away from him.

When my three year old cries because he can't do something, I help him practice making a nice request. I find that sometimes he really doesn't know what to say. I smile and say "Can you say 'Mom will you get me some juice?'" and he smiles and tries to say it too. OK, enough advice.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi T.-

We have three children under the age of 5. It is nuts and we simply have no time for whining. However, that didn't stop it from happening! What we did that seems to have worked is a "whining" chair. Whenever someone whined for soething, she had to go sit in the "whining" chair until she could ask without whining. There is no talking in the whining chair, and it is not a timeout space. It is ONLY used when they whine. That kept me from losing my temper, it was a consistent action, and it stopped the whining immediately b/c of the no talking in the whining chair rule. We have very little whining here now, except when we are hungry or are very tired. It worked for us, but all kids are different. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

Most of it is age appropriate and you are doing the best thing by showing him you are the adult. But I think most of the whining is based on his mixed up life. If he had a full-time mom and dad he would feel more secure. Any chance of that happening? Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Just my opinion, but if he is living with his Dad most of the time, than you need to talk to Dad, if he is not doing it there, than your son is trying to tell you something. I was given advise about 5 years ago that worked great for me...If your kid is acting up there are 3 things that need to be fixed 1)hungry, 2)need a bath, or 3)need a nap. Even if your kid is whining, don't take away his food. Provide 3 stable, on time, meals everyday, with 1 healthy snack in between. All stable. My kids know that meals are at 8, 12, 6. They get snacks at 10 and 3. Otherwise the kitchen is closed...simple as that. When they know the rules it leaves little room for discipline. I would sit down with your son (I do this about once a year with my own kids) and write down all the rules and the jobs expected of both you and him and post it on the fridge or a special spot on the wall that he can see. He can't read, but you can add pictures. But just talking about it helps. My own four year old can't read, so he every once in a while will ask me about something on the list. It helps to know your boundaries. And yelling doesn't work. Just let him come up with consequences (both good and bad). Then you are not the bad guy here. Let him come up with the time out's location and time (within reason) and if they do something extra nice, they choose the rewards. It helps good luck

1 mom found this helpful

Hi T.,
I have a four-year-old who is the same way! He whines constantly. I really don't have a great answer. If he persists in whining about something and I have to keep saying "no", I will put him in time out for four minutes. That used to work, but now he just keeps bawling through the time out. I've been told I should tell him I'm not starting the time out until he's quiet. But just so you know, I don't think it's anything you did, some kids are just more whiny than others. Another thing I thought of is - you mention in your "A little about me" that he's with his dad every other week. Maybe his dad spoils him. Just a thought. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi T.,
All kids go through this...isn't it fun..ugh. Anyway, consistancy is the key. As others have said, just look away and tell him you will be happy to listen to him when he talks to you in his regular voice and then praise him when that happens. I wouldn't take it any further than that. Just be absolutely consistant. The biggest problem you willl face is to make sure his Dad is doing the same thing. You will have a battle if Dad gives in to the whining. And as a divorced mother myself, I know that can be hard. But even if Dad doesn't parent the way you do your son will eventually learn what the "rules" are with you. It just may take a little longer.
Good luck to you,
B.

1 mom found this helpful

It's great that you and your son's dad communicate. But I think you both need to be on the same page when it comes to parenting. I suggest you both take a parenting class together so that your techniques are the same.
Good luck....

1 mom found this helpful

All kids go through a whiny stage and for different reasons. Perhaps your son is telling you he needs more Mama time or just attention. Does his dad spend good quality time with him? Maybe every other week is not a good schedule for him at this age? Could you and his dad work out a different schedule? 3 days with you, 3 days with dad, etc?? Just a thought.
Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I have not had that problem with my children. I remember watching Super Nanny once and the parents on that show had the same problem. The nanny told them that when their child wines at them, the parent should wine back instead of just talking.

1 mom found this helpful

Kids will always be whiners and complainers there is like ways to choose a certain way instead of playing 'take away',yelling,and getting both of you frustrated because he proably didn't think your listening if he says 'hungry & thirsty or states that if he is bored that means your not listening to him if walk away & you take away something that is not part of the issue & yelling will make kids more prone to not listening behavior or wait until you lose control because that means their in charge they made a adult lose it.

best way is ask where is his big boy voice is can you show me it for food/drinks/to do stuff/ get down to eye level otherwise without paying full attention he will whine & that gets your full attention for awhile til you walk away because all they want is 'focus ' to know they are there'

1 mom found this helpful

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