8 Year Old Doesn't Stop whining....EVER!!!

Updated on February 24, 2009
L.U. asks from Kirkland, WA
7 answers

Hi mom's and fellow nannies, grandmas and babysitters, I have an issue. I nanny for a family, and one of the girls is 8 1/2 years old. It seems like ANYTHING that we do, she has some kind of complaint about it. We went to the lake last week, she didn't want to get dirty from the sand or go in the water. We went to Forrest Park, she didn't want to get wet....it's too cold, she says. WHAT??? It's 85 degrees out. She whines if she trips (but she gets right up and plays) she whines if she is playing a game and not winning, she whines if she IS winning....it just seems like every time I turn around, I can hear her whining about something. Plus, when she does play with other kids, she cheats! And then whines when the kids don't want to play with her. I CAN'T STAND WHINING!!! It quite lieterally drives me batty, and makes me really NOT enjoy my job. her little sister, who is almost 2, is a joy, and NEVER whines....unless sissy is around, and then she does it too! I have told her about the boy who cries wolf (she always says she is hurt, until she sees that the other kids are having fun, and then off she goes!), I have told her that if she whines I don't understand her (she just whines some more), I told her that if she whines I wont take them to the fun parks and water parks that I have found (just shrugs her shoulders, until she sees the park as we drive by, and then whines that she wants to go there), I put her in time out, I show her the proper way to ask for something (she always wants me to do everything for her (tie shoes, pick up things that she drops, put away things that she was playing with..ect)) I just don't know what to do, and she's not mine, and I got her for the rest of the summer, and she's driving me NUTS! WHAT DO I DO???

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So What Happened?

so, I decided to sit down with the little girl and have a "this is what I expect from you" kind of discussion. I let her know what the consequences would be to the whining (ie. not inviting friends over, having to sit down if she is "hurt", time outs) and told her that cheating will earn her sit down time next to me. I know she will need some reminders, but hopefully we can cut down on the insessant whining. I also spoke with her mother and let her know that I had the discussion and she was totally open to what I had to say. So, there it is..thanks everyone for your input.

More Answers



answers from Seattle on

What I did with my whinners was ignore them.....easy to say I know....very very hard to do. Whinners are very dedicated to the pratice and tend to just get louder. I would sit by and if it gets real loud or long I would explain to the dog or other children, whoever or whatever was around, how the offender needed to act if they wanted me to pay attention. ie...its really annoying when your sister whines like that isn't it. If she would just ask in a normal voice I would listen to her. I know she knows what that sounds like because she wasn't whinning when she talking about that tv show she likes. Be consistent with whatever you decide.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

I would recommend the book John Rosemond's Six Point Plan for Raising Happy Healthy Children. He is a child/family therapist and parenting expert. His website is www.rosemond.com; you can get a feel for him there and read his recent newspaper columns. He talks about giving kids chores (to develop self esteem and purpose in life) and many, many other things. Giving a child excess or unfounded praise does not build maturity or self esteem. Good for you for caring so much about these kids!



answers from Seattle on

It appears to me that she has found her attention-getter. Video-tape her when she whines, then play it back as a home movie. Physical evidence can be wonderful, since they sometimes don't realize what they look like or how they sound when they are behaving poorly.

Watch SuperNanny and Nanny 911. They have GREAT techniques. Not every technique works for every child, but you'll find one that works. Try watching these programs with her. My kids have shaped up within seconds of watching other families with their out-of-control children.

Be consistent and clear about your expectations. Make a chart that shows what the reward is for good behaviors and the penalty for poor behaviors (use something like popsicle sticks or stickers or some other small, easily obtainable item).

Set up a jar or chart for each child where they can put their credits that they earn. Once they achieve a certain number (10 or whatever you deem appropriate), they get a special reward. The reward can be something like choosing a special tv program or a movie to rent or a fun activity that everyone can participate in because they have also earned enough "credits". Many children respond well to the positive reinforcement and the peer pressure. They also tend to want to do well and impress others with their abilities to earn credits.

I applaud you for finding a job that allows you to work full-time and still spend time with your children. I wish you the best of luck with this situation!



answers from Seattle on

What do the girl's parents say when you ask them how they'd like for you to deal with helping break off the whining?


answers from Seattle on


My first thought was: this little girl is a BRAT!!!! As the nanny it's hard, but you can stop the behavior.

Stick to your guns, if she's whining at you, tell her you don't understand her when she's whining, then leave the room. If she continues to whine at you, put her in her room and tell her she can come out If, and only if, she stops whining. If she's having a fit about tying her shoes give her a time limit. She has 5 minutes to put her shoes on or you're not going to____________. If she doesn't comply, it's her loss.

When at the park and she whines that nobody will play with her tell her that nobody likes a cheater. If she whines as you drive by a park tell her that only good girls that don't whine get to go there. If she starts whining about being "hurt" then have her sit quietly next to you for a while. If she starts wanting to play again because the other kids are playing and having fun, tell her nope, you're hurt, you have to sit and watch. Also I'd tell her that if she starts whining about anything while at the part you will leave immediately and she can spend time in her room.

I'd even consider talking with her parents and see if you all can work on her whining. Most likely she's whining at them too. Y'all need to be a united front and shut this down now. I don't have a specific link, but Super Nanny should have some great tips on how to stop this problem behavior.

BTW, this 8 year old little girl sounds like my 4 1/2 year old son. We've done all my suggestions with him and one or another has worked with him just about every time.

Hope this helps,



answers from Spokane on

The job isn't right for you, so why don't you leave? It's like being married. If you don't like it because of one little thing, that little thing is just going to get bigger;in this case, the whining and it driving you crazy.



answers from Anchorage on

something I have done with kids is tell them I don't understand whiness...as well as when they whine I will say Huh? I only speak English try again.

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