L. Whiner Grow into a Big Whiner?? Just Curious!

Updated on June 21, 2011
J.L. asks from Pittsburgh, PA
10 answers

My son is almost 20 months and is a total WHINER!!!!! He has been very high maintenance since birth (thank you mamapedia mommies for getting me through these months!). I am a SAHM so it's not like he doesn't have my attention and I try to model for him how to ask for things and how to handle situations that upset/anger him. I know this is a tough age, but his whining is constant!! Instead of asking for water, he comes over to me and immediately starts with the crying instead of saying "water" which he can do. There is a lot more, but I won't get into it. I am just curious to see if anyone who had a whiny toddler also had that toddler grow into a whiny older kid, teen, adult. My son has a very sensitive personality. Sometimes when I get tough with him he starts to cry which makes me feel bad, but I don't want to constantly cater to him because I don't want him to be that kid that no one wants to be around because all he does is whine. Anyway, I appreciate the feedback.

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answers from Portland on

Yes, I think he'll continue to whine as he gets older unless you stop the whining now. I suggest that you tell him you will not respond when he whines. "I can't hear you when you whine. Ask me in a big boy voice." Be consistent and calm. Yes, the first few days will be hell. But he will catch on if you're consistent and NEVER give in.

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answers from Charlotte on


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answers from Dallas on

Yes now is the time to curb the whining. He is starting to learn words so be sure to encourage him to use them:) When he comes whining ask him what he wants (OK) if he whines again, ask him "do you want water?" "Can you say water?" ETC. If he can't say it, whatever his word for water is and make a big production about using the right word and praise, praise praise for making the right choice.
I have also told my kids in a nice voice, "I want to help you, but I don't understand what you mean" that helps a lot once they are old enough to get it:)
Hang in there, though, it is a constant thing to stay on top of (the whining, I mean).

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answers from St. Louis on

MY opinion: YES, L. whiners become big whiners.....& then turn into insecure adults.

Nip it now ....or it will only get worse.

Watch the "1-2-3 Magic" video....it will turn your life around! Peace.....

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answers from Santa Fe on

My son is also very sensitive (he's 7 now) and I remember this phase very well. For him it was when he was 2.5 to 3. I would not give him what he wanted till he used his big boy voice. We were very stern with the "no whining"!!! I remember it drove me nuts. Anyway, I'm happy to say that was a passing phase and there has not been any whining for a very long time. So, if I were you I'd gently, but firmly have him ask again using a big boy voice. Good luck! I remember it seemed to take forever and I felt like I used that phrase about a million times.

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answers from Williamsport on

Discipline the whining like any other wrong behavior. Modeling and setting examples is what you can do naturally in addition to that, but it won't stop the behavior. It will just allow your son to make the decision to quit whining one day whenever he wants because there is no serious reason to stop. YES he can become a big whiner, I know tons of whiny toddlers who grew into pouty whiny older kids. He needs your enforcement learning to control that urge so it can become natural to him to resolve himself. My 3 year old son took tons of discipline on the whining, he was a whiiiiiiiiner by nature, but he had it nipped by around 2 1/2. He'll still occasionally try it, but a warning suffices because he knows there will be consequences if he continues.

Don't give into the fact that he is "easy to upset" Most kids this age are! Some are taught to control it, some are allowed to melt down all the time. Your choice, but it takes being firm to see a happier more mature kid evolve. I thank my lucky stars every day for three non whiners.

Not ONLY should you not "give in" to the whining (OF COURSE), but he ALSO needs a firm consequence for it when you have given him a calm warning and the chance to stop, but he decides to continue. Don't fuel his self pitying fire by questioning him about his feelings when he's whining. Step one, warning to quit whining when there is obviously no injury or serious problem. Step two, consequence for continuing. Step three be sure he doesn't get what he was whining for until he earns it with good behavior and asking properly. Step five (optional) lecture him on whining (if you must) at a separate time, NOT during discipline. He's a male, and a toddler, He doesn't want to talk about feelings any more than a man does. Quick, concise, firm teaches the fastest and lets him learn to handle things on his own better without lots of "working through it and attention /sympathy" from you. Again, give him LOTS of cuddly love and nurturing of sadness at the LEGITIMATE times.

To clarify, this is NOT prohibiting FEELINGS in your child, this is allowing them more freedom of expression for real emotions by nipping the chronic habitual whining. My kids all have their full spectrum of emotions and they are allowed to feel mad and sad, and we do comfort and nurture them all the time. But they don't whine and throw fits. There's a difference.

Good tips on how: Back to Basics Discipline by Janet Campbell Matson.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

My son is 19 mos and we. are. here. I've already been doing the "use your words, please" along with "feeding" him phrases so he can learn them. It is helping, but I understand it's really hard not to get frustrated w/him - esp when every day is starting this way lately!

What really stinks is when he's obviously trying and says a "word" with clarity and confidence and I don't know what he's asking for! = /

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answers from St. Louis on

It depends, he may or he may hit school and be shamed into growing up. Really peer pressure has a good side as well. It teaches kids social norms.

I haven't had a whiney toddler, it is something I just cannot stand. If my kids want me to leave the room, whine. It was actually a good thing since they tend to be attention seeking.

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answers from Gainesville on

omg my 10 yr old whines all the time ! Seems like everything she says to me she says with a whine. NOw I usually ask her to say it again in a regular voice- I used to just ignore but clearly the ignoring has not helped! Lots of times she says something and then says oops and says it again in non whiny voice. lol! My fiance asked her and she doesn't talk that way at school!

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answers from Harrisburg on

Sorry to say that my "high maintenance" kid as a toddler is now a "high maintenance" kid as a teen. That said...you should certainly ignore the whining. When my kids whined, I would tell them I could not hear them when they used a whiny tone and then would walk away until they could use a non-whining voice. Eventually the whining stopped.

There is a difference in kids. Some are certainly easier than others. I know, I have one of each. I think those who do not have "high maintenance" kids think those of us who do are just bad parents. They don't understand that no matter what you do, some kids can be a challenge. We have done (and continue to do) everything within our power to make sure our hm kid fits into society...not easy...but I don't want to look back one day and wonder what could have been had I not given my all.

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