Help with My Whining 3Yr Little Boy

Updated on September 03, 2008
J.G. asks from Magnolia, TX
25 answers

I need some advise in how to make my 3yr stop whining. That is all he does.

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T.H.

answers from Austin on

I've used this will all of mine: "mommy has special ears that don't hear whining. If you need or want something, you have to speak in a nice, normal voice". Have you tried recording his voice and letting him hear it?

1 mom found this helpful
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L.L.

answers from Beaumont on

I used to tell mine that "Mommy's ears can't even hear you when you whine" and then I would ignore them until they used their real voices. Most of the time it worked immediately.

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C.T.

answers from San Antonio on

this is so simple, but it worked when my son was 3 and did the same thing. i deemed the house a "no whining zone." I put up a big sign that had the word whining and a line through it and i explained what those kind of signs mean. when he would start whining, i would say very nicely, "oh this is a no whining zone". it took about a week for him to stop. he doesn't even remember it now.

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G.W.

answers from Odessa on

I too told my son that "I'm sorry, I don't speak whine" or I would look at him in horror and make him run to the sink and spit the whinies out. I told him I knew he had those whinie bugs in his throat and he must get them out so that I could understand what he was saying. Sometimes I had to just stop what I was doing and hug those nasty creatures loose before he was able to spit them out. :)

I found that humor, patience (ALOT) and love got me through most of his childhood! Good luck!

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C.C.

answers from Beaumont on

When my children (now 28, 25, & 19)used to whine, I whined right back at them in the same infuriating tone--or maybe even a little whinier! They hated it, but it stopped whining. (Actually, they still tell me how much I annoyed them when I whined back!)

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R.

answers from San Antonio on

I am also struggling with this issue. It is so annoying! So far the only thing that shows any success is to very calmly and sincerely say " I cannot understand you when you talk like that" and them ask him to repeat himself in a normal voice.It works in the moment, but he continues to whine insessantly only a few minutes later. Hopefully with consistency, the method will work over time.

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S.O.

answers from San Antonio on

First of all, make sure he knows what whining is. I would repeat after my kids in the worst whiny voice I could muster. And say, I don't like that kind of voice; it's whining. They usually laugh at the voice. Then, I would repeat what I just said in a purposefully normal voice (much lower than before) and ask my kid to say what he wants again but in the nicer voice. When he would comply, I would thank him and give him what he asked for. I would do this a couple of times until I knew that he understood. Then, all I would have to say is stop whining and ask correctly. It would usually do the trick. Many times they don't realize how they sound. If I find them walking around whining - but asking me specifically for somethin, I would remind them that they are whining and it is an ugly voice that hurts my ears. No whining!

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L.B.

answers from Odessa on

I was so happy to see your post. My 2 1/2 year old is about to drive me crazy with the whining. I don't think it is because we are bad moms and they are unhappy as was posted by another mom.

I think we have taught them that it works. I started to enforce a "zero whine tolerance" today after reading some of your responses. Things have been better. Time out is very effective with my child for other things and I am going to start doing time outs for every whining episode even if it means we spend all day there.

Good luck and thanks for your post! I should have done it myself months ago.

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M.B.

answers from Houston on

Wow! I think I just read that someone suggested you quit your job and stay home to take care of your whiner. What year is it again? What century? How about you go ahead and keep that paycheck coming in and do what the rest of us do... IGNORE THEM. Don't baby him, or give him more attention. It doesn't matter if he is unhappy or not. He is manipulating you to do what he wants and so far it has worked for him. He doesn't get to go the rest of his life whining, so don't let him get used to it now! We tell our 3 year old son we don't understand him when he whines and when he uses his big boy words, then we respond to him and thank him for talking like a big boy. He doesn't whine often, and when he tries, it stops pretty quickly. Just be consistent with him and he'll figure out how to get what he wants from you in another way! good luck!

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V.B.

answers from Houston on

I agree with the others. Keep asking him to repeat himself and tell him you can't understand him. If he keeps it up, just ignore him (believe me, I know that's nearly impossible!). I have a 2 1/2 year old girl who is pretty whiney sometimes too. I don't have much patience for it, so my advice is coming from a sane person whose child isn't whining at her at the moment. If only I could remember to follow my own advice in the moment!! :-)

Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful
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B.K.

answers from Austin on

Here is what worked for me:

1. In a kind voice, tell your child that you cannot understand him when he whines. Ask him to tell you again without whining. Be consistent with this message. It will not take long for him to make the change. ( This is assuming he is whining only when he is talking.)

2. If he is whining AND apathetic, please look at his diet, and consider the cleaning and laundry products you are using. There is a DVD called Toxic Brew that you might want to view.

3. Is your three year old bored? It is not fun to spend time listening to anyone whine ...... even if you are his mother. Be sure you spend quality time with him. Play games, sing songs even as you make the beds or load/empty the dishwasher, washer. dryer. "This is the way we make our bed, make our bed, make our bed. This is the way we make our bed so early in the morning." .... this is the way we wash our clothes, pick up toys, etc. Kids love music. At exercise time, put on a March song and march in place or around the room. My kids even liked to lie on the floor and do leg lifts, etc, O course, they may show you up. ....smile

4. Same goes for Dad. Bedtime story and prayer time is a great time for dad and son. This is a particularly a good time to discover those teachable moments, too. (And while dad is spending time with your son, you can soak in the tub!) What a nice way to end the day.

B. K.

PS: I am a MOPS (mothers of pre-schoolers) mentor. I am not currently active at their meetings but once a mentor, always a mentor. I love babies, children and their moms. I have a home business and through that, learned about the Toxic Brew DVD. I listed my business with Mamasource but I am not sure it "took". I need to check on that but in the meantime you can reach me at [email protected]____.com. I love to answer questions, give hope and encouragement.

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A.J.

answers from Killeen on

tell him that you won't listen to him anymore unless he uses his big boy voice and words. and then follow through! if you ignore him until he speaks nicely, then he will soon learn that whining doesn't get him what he wants. my 4 yr old used to whine all the time and was really stubborn, so i also would whine back at her LOL just so she could hear how she sounded! she would quit after a few seconds and give me this look like i had lost my mind and then we'd both laugh, and then i'd tell her "now use your big girl words to tell me what you want!" or you can also try, when he whines, pretend like he's disappeared ("where has johnny gone? oh no, he disappeared! i can't see him when he whines! where are you, johnny???") he'll probably giggle and say "here i am mommy!" and then you can remind him that you can't hear him when he whines
hope this works for you, i know how annoying whining can get LOL

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L.M.

answers from Houston on

An old trick my mother used to use. "I do not understand whining" I mean, she would literally ignore me if I whined at all to her. Trust me, it works. Best of luck to you!
___________________________________________________________
I see some of you and your mothers did the same thing. I thought my mother was looney when she did not answer me. But as soon as I asked her the same question in my "normal" voice; She would answer me.....LOL.

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L.B.

answers from Corpus Christi on

The whining must have worked at one point, that is why he keeps it up. Let him know that there are new rules and that whining will not work and in fact make it possible that what he wants will not happen at all. Then stick to your guns about it, it will be hard with a little one but that is the only way that it will stop. Good luck

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H.B.

answers from Austin on

My daughter was doing the same thing. She's a little over 2 yrs and was still crying and whining to get her way ALL the time. As soon as she started doing it, we'd say "use your words" and "you will not get any milk until you say "Milk, please". It was tough at first, but if they really want something then they will eventually comply. I won't tell you that she hasn't stopped completely, but it's MUCH better. She starts to whine but then changes her tone because she knows the drill. Consistency is the key. And as often as I can I say to her "Where's that pretty smile?" Tickle her a bit and when she smiles praise her and make a big deal over her smiling and focus on how awesome it is to be happy! Good luck with your little guy. God has blessed you even in this challenge :-)

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M.Z.

answers from Austin on

dear J.,
you can mostly ask him to use his words, or if he doesnt talk yet, point to something to let you know. we already know what he wants, but hes getting enough attention without much work on his part. try catching him before he starts to whine. like when he gets hurt. no doubt you see it, before he sees you. you can either pretend you didnt see, if its not serious, let him come tell you, and then be sympathetic but not panicked so he doesnt start to whine to milk it. or you can let him know you saw, and if its not serious, play down his shock. say "wow, that was a cool trick", or "was that fun". it lets him know he can laugh it off and not all knocks are drama material. i know it seems weird. i have a daughter under 2 who got use to being the last baby in the family and she got it all. we turned her into a monster. one day i realised it went too far and stopped playing into it. i swear she started talking, not whining overnight. when she starts to cry on one of her huge whining spells, i usually make her sit away from everyone else in a safe place, until she stops. every time she starts up again i put her back. after 5 times shes usually sick of it and doesnt whine anymore. of course be attentive so you know what he wants. but dont give into until he communicates in away that okay with you. like if he wants something out of reach. ask him if this is what he wants. tell him to tell you, such as "sippy cup", even if its not perfect and then give it to him. those are just a few ideas to some of the dramas you can face with a whiner.
M.

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H.P.

answers from Houston on

Is it when he's talking? Oh, I can't stand that! Tell him that you don't understand him. Make him have to keep repeating himself. If you repeat for clarification, be sure to enunciate, showing him how to speak up. Don't tell him to stop because that'll likely backfire at his age. Just make it inconvenient for him continue, and continue to be an example of how he should do it.

Good luck with that.

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L.H.

answers from Killeen on

Hi J.,,,,
I always told them to ask like a big boy ,,,or no you can't have it till you talk like a big boy
good luck L.

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J.H.

answers from Odessa on

Sounds as if he is very unhappy. Is he the youngest or is your other child younger? Either way he is still quite young and maybe he is just letting you know that he really needs a mommy. Have you considered stopping work for a while to be a fulltime mom? Just for a couple of years perhaps while he is so young?

Every child is different, so maybe he just has a complaining personality. Perhaps if you make some fun times and reward any little thing he does that is not a "whiny" type of reaction it will help. Also, I now realize something that I don't think I did much with my little boys, which was to actually explain to them in a calm and pleasant way what was expected before we did something and/or even talking afterwards about how it went. Explaining in other words what had happened -- good or bad, calmly. I don't think that punishing him for whining will do one bit of good. I don't like isolating children in timeouts; surely they feel abandoned. Never used timeouts, and my kids seemed fairly happy, and neither of them were whiners. Maybe it was just personality. But then I didn't go back to work fulltime until the youngest was in high school!

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M.K.

answers from Houston on

Let me know if anything works. I have tried just about everything and my boys still whine.

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C.H.

answers from Houston on

This also works for tattling and whining at my preschool. Give him a pretend or old phone to call someone and "whine" to them (relative, stuffed animal, etc.) If he starts whining, tell him to get his phone, take it to his room and call for example Mickey Mouse and tell him all about it! You can even tape a "phone number" to the phone so he can practice learning his numbers at the same time!

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N.D.

answers from Austin on

I usually tell them I can't understand them when they are whining and tell them to try again. Sometimes this takes a long time. We have a whining chair in our house, similar to the time out chair (its the same chair). They can get up on their own when they are ready to use words and not whining. This is usually when they are on a roll with the whining and won't stop and everything they say is just terrible :)

L.A.

answers from Austin on

Ah the whining.
Each time he whines, tell him to use his "regular" voice.
The other response is "I do not hear whining voices". The secret is to not back down. Each time he whines, just ignore him.

When our daughter was young we had 12 girls in our neighborhood. All of us (parents) said the whining was the most annoying behavior and we all agreed on this response to all of the girls.
It worked great.

Give him a hug and thank him when he uses his regular voice, especially when he normally would be whining.

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J.T.

answers from Victoria on

My cousin was doing this to me when I was getting her juice she went to the fridge and wined. I looked at her like she was crazy and asked her what she was doing. She got a blank stare then looked around like she was trying to figure it out. I told her to go sit at the table and I would get her juice and not to whine. It worked. I would also make it a rule and when he whines he gets a min per year of age so 3 min in time out. Sorry it has to be a punishment but omg its hard for him to keep friends when all he does is whine! Good luck.

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A.O.

answers from Sherman on

My 3 year old son does the same thing, sooooo he spends some time in his room every day.

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