Help Me! I Am SO Tired of the Cry Whining!!

Updated on June 17, 2010
N.G. asks from Arlington, TX
7 answers

My 3-year-old daughter goes to daycare while my husband and I work full time. We all get home at the same time, about 5:30 pm, and my daughter starts her daily cry and whine session. It is quite literally EVERY SINGLE DAY. She doesn't do this on the weekends, just during the week when we all work and get home at 5:30. During this time, she is crying, constantly. CONSTANTLY! About anything and everything, or about nothing at all. Doesn't matter. I've tried to find out the reason- whether it be that she is tired from a long day, or is in need of Mommy's attention (long cuddle sessions) or has hypoglycemia (snack)... nothing works. Maybe its all three! She gets a snack at daycare in the afternoon so I don't want her snacking when she gets home and its not realistic for me to come home and cuddle with her for an hour. We have things to do in the evening. I'm at a loss and very frustrated. HELP!

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So What Happened?

THANK YOU Moms! I think that maybe she is overstimulated.. and 'deflating' as one Mom put it. Taking a step away from the situation and reading your responses have helped me develop a plan of attack for this daily meltdown! And you Moms are right... daycare DOES suck, even if there isn't anything I can do about it... she deserves a bit of extra attention from me in the evenings, even if I'm too tired. Thanks!

More Answers



answers from Seattle on

My daughter is almost the same age and like that sometimes. I know EXACTLY on which days she will whine... it is those days where I think that I am too busy with other stuff to invest the time to give her one on one attention.

I am a full time working mom too! I understand the need for a second income to keep a roof over your head and have a good life for your family.

HOWEVER, I do not fool myself into thinking that the time she spends at daycare (and we have a truly excellent daycare center) is the best option for her. Yes, her teachers care and give her attention, but it is NOT the same as parenting. It is not the same as sharing that psychological and physical bond with your kids.

You mention that you have things to do at night, and so do I. Sometimes it's hard for me to let go of the laundry that needs to be folded and the dishes that need to be done. However my child did not choose for me to not be able to care for her as I should, she did not choose to spend 9 hours a day in daycare and NOTHING that I could possibly have to do should be more important to me than spending an hour cuddling, reading, talking to her, one on one, with my full attention on her.

Since it's the same time each night, try to break the circle by switching up your schedule... take her to the playground instead of going home, give her veggies for a snack and accept that she will eat less at dinner.

It's hard, I understand...but sometimes bending your expectations and rules and being happy is a LOT better than sticking to something that does not work.
Good luck!

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

She's deflating.
My daughter, was like that. As she got older, and with us teaching her 'coping skills', she can manage herself much better.

Kids, all day somewhere else, be it daycare or school... has a LONG day. It is tiring for them and being on top of things all day. They get home, and deflate. Get fussy. Need things, you,food,a nap etc. ALL at one time many times. My daughter simply also NEEDED a snack once at home, and time to just UNwind. Like an adult coming home from work. But with a little child, they do not know how to manage their emotions and needs. And once home, everyone is busy or rushing around and they get tweaked.

With my girl, once she gets home from school or summer fun... I ALLOW her to just unwind... do whatever she wants. I don't immediately make demands on her. She is tired. She is hungry. She spent all day at "work"... and needs to deflate. And have a moment.
Mere rushing around... can really make a child on edge.
They need TIME to "transition."

all the best,

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

It is the "Witching hour", she is tired, excited, hungry energized all at once. It ends up being a melt down.. To calm it a little give her a big hug when you see her. Place her in the car with a snack and a cool drink.. DO NOT ask he about her day yet.. Instead tell her about your day or play a childs music CD and listen and sing along to the music.

When you get home, let her have some quiet time close to you while you prepare dinner. Puzzles, coloring, watching some TV..

Then at dinner time you can begin to ask her open questions about her day. Who did you play with today? What did you eat for lunch? Did you sleep during nap time?

Also , when she is whining and crying, tell her, "I cannot understand whining." "I cannot understand you when you are crying." "When you find your regular voice, I will be able to understand you." "Go to your room and find your regular voice.."

As she starts conversations follow HER lead..

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

It could be that she's used to having continuous attention and/or others to play with at daycare.

Try to have some activities lines up for her when she gets home, and see if that doesn't help. On the way home, tell her with enthusiasm what's waiting for her – finger painting, playdoh, helping make dinner, building block towers, playing outside mixing colored water (in ice cube tray with eyedropper), a game of catch or hide-and-seek, a pillow fight. Help make that transition from having adults focused on her to staying out of your way easier.

The time and attention you spend on this may well be worth the effort. If whining is still a problem, try the approaches outlined in How to Talk So Kids Will Listen, and Listen So Kids Will Talk.

The authors have years of experience teaching parents how to help children identify and communicate their feelings and needs, and participate in finding their own creative and appropriate solutions. They also teach parents how to establish their own needs and boundaries in a clear, understandable, and respectful way.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

If you ever decide that you don't want her at that daycare, I can start watching them again. I stay at home now and can pick up Cheyenne from school and take her to her activities. Offer's on the table should you ever want to take it. :)
P.S. I hope she stops whining for ya! lol. Nothing hurts a mama's ears worse. :)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Abilene on

You are right, she is tired, hungry, needs mommy, however so are you. I would encourage her to use her words so she can get positive attention. You have to change how you respond to the whining, for instance, explain that you can't help her if she doesn't use her big girl voice (often used in other settings).
In addition, that snack at daycare probably doesn't sustain the kids. I'm sure its right after nap around 230 so she is starving. Try a healthy snack, fruit or yogurt that won't spoil dinner.
I hope this helps.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

First - set the rule. If you are going to cry and or whine, you need to do it in your room. Then be consistent. Put her in there. Tell her she can come out when she can speak in a big girl voice.
Do NOT waffle on the rule or the consequence. If you do, it's all over.

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