25 answers

Advice on Whiny 2 Year Old

My 2 year old son has recently started whining when he doesn't get his way. He will throw himself on the ground and throw a tantrum if my husband and I don't give him his way. Is this a behavior indictive of TERRIBLE TWO'S or something else? What do you suggest to curb the whining?

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if you are not in a public area try and ignore him. As you are aware he is learning everyday, which means he is also learning how to get what he wants. My two children started the very same thing around 18-24 mos. I found that simply ignoring the behavior would stop it. After several non-reactions from you he should give up and try to get what he wants in an acceptable manner. The will continue to do what works, if it doesn't work anymore he will stop!

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my daughter just went thru the same thing but we were able to stop it almost as soon as it started.
both my husband and I would stop her from her fit and look her straight in the eye and tell her in a stern voice to stop being ugly. that worked for us for the most part. but as one of the others said you need to find what works best for you and do it every time they throw a fit.
they will eventually stop.

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I have 2 girls..the baby has just started whining i usualy ignore her and just go on. she stops after a little bit. my 4yo i put to bed. when she starts in it usally means she needs a nap. it gives her a chance to calm down. i will tell her to sit there and relax and think of a better way to ask me for what she wants. this only really works when they are older and can talk to you. the biggest thing i can tell you is just don't give in. eventually he will see that the whining doesn't work. good luck.

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First of all the term "terrible two's" is incredibly misleading. It carries on throughout the threes and fours as well (sorry four is as far as I have gotten so far). Secondly, this is common for this age. Every child gets spoiled as a baby (they only wanted what the needed so they have gotten everything they've ever wanted thus far)so when they don't get everything they ask for it becomes very frustrating for them. Patience and consistancy is what works best to nip testy tantrums. Find the dicipline that works best (that's the toughest part) it may be a time out or a stint in the corner or a toy taken away for a pre-determined period of time. Once you figure out what works the best, stick to it. Everytime he starts a tantrum, remind him of what happens. This is the best time to do it, it's his first lesson in consequences.

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It IS the terrible two's. And what that means is that he is at the age where he is going to test ALL of the rules you have enforced up until now. You need to nip it in the butt. Don't let him "get away" with any of his "two's" behavior. As long as you hold stern as to who is the boss it won't get any worse. Just know, that he will test you and he will push you to your limit. Children are munipulative by nature not by reason. Meaning they aren't intentionally trying to make mom mad, they just need to know where they stand in this great big world. Good luck and hold strong, they're fighters!

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Congratulations, you have a perfectly normal child :-). Don't sweat it, girl, he is just testing his limits with you. You have to be strong and consistant with him. Let him know that you will not respond to this behavior and if he wants something he'll have to learn a better way of getting it. Don't warry about what other people in the mall or grocery store or restaurant are thinking about your little guy or you when he throws a fit, you jusy handle him the best way you can. I'v e found that by removing my kid from the room or situation they soon realize that I mean business. My motto is, take away they're audience. See, then they have no one to show off for. And if it's just you and him, the best thing is to ignore his tantrum and simply but sternly tell him that when he's ready you'll discuss in a big boy manner, but by no means get into a yelling match with him or give in to him.

Good Luck. P.S. Whoever came up with the terrible two's thing obviously never had a 1 year old or a three year old or a 4 year old...etc. you know what I mean.

1 mom found this helpful

My lil boy is 2 also and when he throws a tantrum I put him in his room and let him throw it but I don't give in to what he wants because if u give in they'll keep doing it because then they know you'll give in to what they want.

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K.,
It is normal for 2year olds to be whiny. At this age, they are just developing their vocabulary. Especially when they can't find the words, or you can't understand them...temper tantrums will develop. The most important thing with whining is to stay calm. Remind your child to "use his big boy words". If you can guess what he is wanting, then say Oh, do you want this? Mommy, can I please have this? Sure honey. Thank you. If you play out the dialouge for how to ask for what you want, he'll get the hang of it. Always praise him for using his "big boy words" & his "big boy voice". Giving in just perpetuates the whining, so try to be consistant. Positive encouragement is the best way to get him to want to use other methods to get his way. My three year old is still whining quite a bit. Her language is developed enough now that I will not respond to any whining. I just say, "Mommy can't understand you when you talk like that, can you use your big girl words?" If she needs help, I will help her to put the sentence together, but then she has to ask in a regular tone of voice, and I always tell her how proud I am of her. Good luck!!

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My advice is to walk away and ignore your son when he throws these tantrums. If he gets no response from anyone, then he'll probably stop. It worked on my daughter. Good luck! Hopefully it's a stage that will pass quickly.

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Seriously, I take a cue from Super Nanny (I know!) I get down on my daughter's level and tell her I don't like her behavior and that she needs to do what I"m asking her to do. Then if she doesn't do it, I put her in a times out (1 minute for every year old they are). Naturally, she cries, but I don't talk to her. When her time's up, I ask her why she was in time out (she can usually tell me) and then it's over. Typically, the threat of time out ends the fit and I don't give into her every whim. Don't give in! Stand strong and whatever you do, don't let your little guy divide and conquer!

1 mom found this helpful

Welcome to the world of the terrible two's!!! My daughter is not yet two and has been doing this since she was about 16 months old. Some advice for you: toddlers will test their limits on anything and everything you can think of! The key is to be consistent. Do the same thing EVERY time! If it is a time out do it. Also, and I heard this from a parent that has six kids, get down on the floor and "throw a tantrum" and let your little boy see how stupid it looks. Also, just ignoring it usually works. Most of the time they will throw a tantrum for the attention and if you give them none, their goal is shot! Fortunately the terrible twos end. Then there are the trying 3's, the frustrating fours and so on! LOL! Hang in there. When you look back on it 10 years from now you will see that the good outweighs the bad, even though right now it may not seem like it!! Good Luck and God Bless You!! L.

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Unfortunately it will probably get worse before it gets better especially if you will be moving soon. I have a son who will be 3 in december. I just had my daughter in July and that's when his whinning started...I would put him in time out. He is just retesting his boundries with you to see if the consequences will still be the same. Finally the whining will stop (I don't even know if time-out helped, it is just a phase) now he's into not listening. Good luck!
(By the time you figure it out, he'ss be moving on to something different:)

1 mom found this helpful

my daughter just went thru the same thing but we were able to stop it almost as soon as it started.
both my husband and I would stop her from her fit and look her straight in the eye and tell her in a stern voice to stop being ugly. that worked for us for the most part. but as one of the others said you need to find what works best for you and do it every time they throw a fit.
they will eventually stop.

1 mom found this helpful

K.,
I have found/ with our daughter that she "tests the waters" if you will to see what she can get away with. We hold down our foot, and tell her no, she throws a fit, and then pays a consiquence of time out in her room, or in public, a trip to the bathroom for a talk. She knows that there are consiquences therefore, with persistance, we have been able to avoid furhter instances. It is trying, but as long as you hold your ground, and don't "give in", they will see that there is not much give, and refrain from the tantrims. It does vary on each child how long it takes for it to sink in.
Good luck in your venture!

1 mom found this helpful

Been there, done that... and it really stinks! Mine used to literally throw herself into a wall and bang her head as hard as she could! Talk about temper! But I noticed when we didn't go over to her to see if she was "okay", she would stop crying sooner. When my parents witnessed this, of course their first reaction was to coddle her. Once I convinced them not to, she would stop. When she realized this was not going to get her attention, she stoppped, almost immediately. And although it took time and discipline on OUR parts not to "check on her", ignoring the bad behavior DID work.

And yes, I believe what you're going through is the "terrible two's" but be warned... three's can get worse... sorry to be the barer of bad news =(

It is key to put an end to this now... or at the very least let him know his tantrums will NOT work on you, your husband or ANYONE else who may watch him. You might very well have to tell people (grandparents inparticular) not to give in. As someone else stated... BE CONSISTANT. It may sound mean to ignore it if he purposely hurts himself (as my daughter did) but if he is TRULY NOT hurt, then ignore the ploy for attention. It worked for us...

Best of luck!
~K.

1 mom found this helpful

My little boy did the same. If he was just whining, I would get down low and look him in the eye and say something like "mommy doesn't want to hear that whiny voice ... when you're done, let me know, and then we can talk together." Then I would ignore him or remind him that I didn't want to hear that voice and wanted to hear his "good-boy voice" ... Or if he threw himself down, I would say "I don't want to watch this kind of behavior, so I'm going in to (the living room/kitchen/etc.). Let me know when your done with your tantrum, and we can talk together" and then I would leave.

This is of course harder to do at the store or out in public, but usually, in those instances, I would say "We will go home if this behavior continues" and if it does, we really do go home. (Most of the good training happens at home though.) If there were times when his whining/tantrums just wouldn't stop, we would take time out and "face the wall" for 2 minutes at age 2, 3 minutes at age 3, etc. We would walk over to the wall spot, I would get down low, face him to me, and look him in the eye and tell him why he had to face the wall (for whining, hitting, throwing, not listening, etc.) and then tell him he had to face the wall as punishment. When his time was up AND he had quieted down, I would go to him, stand him up and tell him again why he had had to face the wall, and then ask for him to say "I'm sorry for whining/hitting/throwing/not listening/etc." and then I would ask for a hug. If he had offended anyone else (daddy, grandma, grandpa, etc.) he would have to go tell them he was sorry too.

A friend of mine established the "whining step" ... the lowest step on the stairs for their little girl to go for time out when her whining got out of control.

We've been consistent, and now we have a fairly nicely behaved boy. Not perfect, but he can get himself under control ... now he'll say after a bit of whining and a warning from me, "my tears are all gone now, mommy! I'm all better!" It's tough, but stick with it. They need and appreciate the boundaries of what is acceptable behavior.

1 mom found this helpful

This to is just a phase. Don't make a big fuss out of it and definately don't give in and let him have his way. After a few times when it doesn't work, he will get the picture!! Our son did the same thing, whining, crocodile tears and when we ignored him him tried even louder, but after a few times he got the picture.
Good Luck
T.

1 mom found this helpful

I have a 2 year old that does the SAME thing. My fiancee's mom teaches 3 year olds and she gave me the best advice on how to handle that. It sounds silly but it really worked for us...when he throws himself in the floor either you or your husband need to fall on the floor next to him and make a game out of it. My fiancee throws himself down right next to our 2 yr old and rolls around on the floor mimicking everything he does. After a minute or so of this behavior my 2 yr old sees how silly he looks and starts to laugh and just as fast as he began to throw the fit it is over with. It took a few weeks but he does not throw himself down as much anymore.

1 mom found this helpful

if you are not in a public area try and ignore him. As you are aware he is learning everyday, which means he is also learning how to get what he wants. My two children started the very same thing around 18-24 mos. I found that simply ignoring the behavior would stop it. After several non-reactions from you he should give up and try to get what he wants in an acceptable manner. The will continue to do what works, if it doesn't work anymore he will stop!

1 mom found this helpful

When a parent asks a question like this one on this site I always suggest getting the '1,2,3 Magic' book or video (available at the library too). It is a really great system for learning to talk to your children to teach discipline. I learned about it when I was employed with the North Kansas City School District in the early childhood special education program.

The big point is that you have to be CONSISTENT with your children so they know (1) what is expected of them and (2)what the consequences are if they do something unacceptable.

R.

1 mom found this helpful

2 Year olds are coming into their own...learning that they CAN say no. When they don't get the response they want it is frustrating for them. I suggest giving them options. If it's time to go to bed you can let them choose if they want to read one or two stories and you can pick one and let him pick one, or let him decide if he wants to brush his teeth first or get into his pajamas first. This way you are letting him decide something on his own, but still getting the outcome you want. I would also suggest explaining to him WHY you want him to do certain things. If you have fillings you can show them to your son and explain that if he doesn't brush his teeth he will get cavities. This helps him to understand the reasoning and he don't feel like you are just trying to make him do what you want all the time. If you still get an occasional tantrum put him in time out...one minute for each year they are old up to 5 minutes. At two I ususally do about a minute and a half. Then ask him why he had to have time out and explain how he can avoid it in the future. Remain calm and make sure you are loving in your explainations. Also be sure that you are consitant in your requests. If he has to do something one day and you give in the next he will get confused and the tantrums will escalate. It will get better as he gets older as long as your are consistant! Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter is 15 months and she has already started the whole temper tantrum routine FULL SCALE. We just lay her down on the floor and let her finish...sometimes we have to walk away and just let her scream. When she's done we just calmly resume whatever we were doing. It is a loud and sometimes heart-wrenching process, but you can't give in otherwise he has conditioned you to respond to terrible fits. Good luck!
B.

I have 2 girls..the baby has just started whining i usualy ignore her and just go on. she stops after a little bit. my 4yo i put to bed. when she starts in it usally means she needs a nap. it gives her a chance to calm down. i will tell her to sit there and relax and think of a better way to ask me for what she wants. this only really works when they are older and can talk to you. the biggest thing i can tell you is just don't give in. eventually he will see that the whining doesn't work. good luck.

Hello

I run a daycare and have lots of whinning two yr olds in my house on a daily basis. First and foremost is your son verbal in anyway shape or form? If so just stay firm and explain to him that this is no way to get what you want and walk away. When he can ask the right way we will see.

Temper tantrums are very normal at this age the only important thing is to provide a united front between you and your husband and not give in to him. Soon he will realize that it doesn't work and find another way to communicate with you.

Definitely a two thing! My daughter does the exact same thing. I've tried lots of different things to curb the whining, but have found that just ignoring her works the best. Althought I sometimes do not have the patience for it! Usually i try to explain that she does not get what she wants if she can't talk like a big girl. I'm just hoping she will grow out of it soon!
H.

When my son Allen starts to whine and throw fits, I just stick to my guns, no matter what the situation is, or how embarrassing, or I distract him (or my one year old), and that helps to. And yes, it is normal behavior. Good Luck

Sorry, I don't really have helpful advice. But I have a girl who's almost 2 who does the same thing. I don't think that I've done anything to spoil her and I'm mainly attributing it to her age and wanting to be independent all of a sudden. I'd most likely not your fault.

Actually the terrible twos is a myth. My daughter is 7 and we are still are dealing with a couple issues. I think two is about the time children decide to "test the waters" and see just how far you can be pushed. They try to see just what degree of tantrum will get them what they want. You have to stand firm. This is not easy, but (at least for my three children) has been affective. When they would start their "fit" I would ask them to please go to their room or take them there myself until they were done. I would tell them that they were not getting their way no matter what and that I and the rest of the family would appreciate not having to listen to their fit. As soon as they were done they were allowed to come back out and join the family. The first few times it took awhile for them to return and if they got loud enough I would ask them to close their door or I would go and do it. Soon they were returning within moments and after a while they would stop and think and then decide that it wasn't worth the trip to their room. This is a case where if you ignore it it will go away. Of course in public is a little more difficult because there is no where to send them, but it can be done. If they would throw a fit in the store my husband and I would just keep walking and possibly even turn the corner and stop. We would peek around the corner and within moments they would stop and come running to catch-up with us and it was over as quick as it started. There is no set solution I am sure. This is just what worked for my kids. People tell me all of the time how well behaved, especially in public, my three are.

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