2 Year Old Is Constantly Whining

Updated on March 26, 2008
B.F. asks from Saint Paul, MN
5 answers

I hate to ask again, but I couldn't find anything on the topic.
My two year old is extremely whiney. He whines about everything, and is VERY irritable. He's become aggressive and not acting like himself. I think he may be getting the last of his molars, but honestly this has been going on for a long time and its getting very frustrating for my husband and I. Some nights all we want to do is put him to bed because of this whining.
We tell him to talk in his big boy voice and he will, but he just goes back to the whining. Does anyone have ANY tips or tricks. We need to nip this behavior in the butt now so it doesnt continue.

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answers from Sioux Falls on

I have a 2 year old boy too. It seems like he goes in phases, sometimes being more whiny and irritable than others. It is so frustrating, isn't it?? I've thought that it is often needs-based: that there is a true reason behind his physical or emotional distress.

When my 2 year old is out of sorts, I've taken to a few different tactics:

1) Snuggle him into coherence. This has really worked for us! He often just needs to re-connect with his mama or dada - so we give him his pacifier [or whatever comforts yours], go into the bedroom, and just lay there together quietly, cuddling him, until he is ready to face the world. This often takes 5 minutes or less and he comes out with a completely different attitude.

2) Outrightly tell him that we don't like to hear his whiny voice and that it bothers our ears: he needs to stop. This works when he is whining only slightly. If he is full-bore, it would make it worse; that is when we go for the snuggling into coherence.

3) When he is being downright rude and aggressive and it isn't need-based (i.e. needing some focused attention), we give him a time-out. I can't believe he responds so well to it, but he does. It seems like it gives him a chance to remove himself from the situation and re-focus. We always hug, talk about it, and cuddle afterwards as well.

Other things you could look into - 1) is he getting enough attention? It seems like my boy gets worse on days where he hasn't gotten enough focused attention, or 2) Food allergies? Perhaps he has a general feeling of unease, either physically or emotionally, caused by an allergic reaction.

Oh, another thing...SNACKS. Sometimes he is hungry, but doesn't know that is why he feels so out of it and goes on to make our life miserable. Offering apples, cheese, raisins, broccoli and/or water is often my very first line of defense.

Those are the big things I've noticed in our situation. Good luck. I know it's tough!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Rochester on

My daughter and the little girl I babysit are doing this same thing. They're three weeks apart in age, so developmentally they're on the same page. When it's close to naptime or snack time I know right away what it is, ask them to tell me what they want, and that's that. If it's any other time of day I'll ask them to "use their words" since I don't know what the whining means. If they continue, I shrug and sit down in front of them till they say something. That seems to snap them out of it since I'm not paying attention and they realize nothing is going to happen till they change their behavior. Other times it comes down to time-outs (when they begin screaming and/or getting physical). These episodes usually only last a few minutes, so I'm not sure if it's the same as with your little guy. I hope you find something to help. :)



answers from Sioux City on

First of all, there is nothing wrong with you and your husband reacting the way you are. Many of us are hard-wired to respond to signs of young in distress, and listening to it continue is the same as being in constant danger. That is why whining, as opposed to real crying, CAN be a form of verbal bullying and should be discouraged as strongly as hitting and pushing are.

The fact that you say your son is irritable indicates he is in some real distress, so you might want to take him for a check-up, in case it's a low-level ear infection, or something, but putting him to bed may very well be exactly what he needs.



answers from La Crosse on

Get him to use SIGN language for his whining. Maybe that will get him to stop verbally whining. Just nip it now, I have a friend who's daughter still uses her baby voice for her needs and she is going on 13. It isn't something I enjoy while visiting. They must be used to it.
Have a blessed day!



answers from Davenport on

Our response to whining is "I'm sorry, but I can't understand what your saying when you talk like that. Try again in your big kid voice!" Make the confused face when talking about whining, and smile when you mention the big kid voice.

Next question: L. Whiner Grow into a Big Whiner?? Just Curious!