OMG, Stop the WHINING!!!! WOW!!!

Updated on November 07, 2011
H.X. asks from Los Angeles, CA
16 answers

Hi all...
i have a 6 year old and a 2.5 year old... The 6 year old (boy) has been a difficult baby, we've survived though... lol... he went through the phase of whining, but nothing like my 2.5 year old (girl)... I dont know if its a girl thing, or just a 2 year old thing... but wow, can that girl whine... WOW... She cries over EVERYTHING!!! you say no to her, she cries, she whined ALL DAY LONG!!! anything, hungry, thirsty, bored, tired, just WHINE WHINE WHINE!!! my head hurst from 8 am to 8 pm... what can i do? is there some kind of approach i can take with that??? Help me!!! and my sanity!!!

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answers from Hartford on

It's developmental.

I told my kids early on, "I don't understand Whinese." I don't respond to it, and I pretend that I don't understand what they're saying. I walk away. Whining does not work in my house. It takes all of my willpower to ignore it completely other than to say calmly, "I'm sorry, I don't understand what you're saying." and then to walk away when the whining bug bites (usually if they watch something on TV with whining or they spent time with a friend who whines). It's very short-lived. My kids honestly don't whine. When they started as toddlers, it didn't last long because of this approach.

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answers from Richmond on

simple grasshopper, you look at the child and say, you wanna go in the playpen? you got two seconds to stop whining . works every time
K. h.

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answers from Columbia on

My cure has been to simply say "If you want me to talk to you, please use your big girl/boy voice instead of a baby voice."

Then I turn away and find something else to do.

If they continue, I might shake my head and say "Uh uh...big boy/girl voice, please." The trick is to not look exasperated when they whine and behave this way. Just look disinterested.

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answers from Raleigh on

I told my son I can't understand whining- like literally. If he came at me with whining, I would just say "I can't understand you" over and over until he rephrased it in a normal, non-whining tone. After a while, he figured out that whining will not get him anywhere, and he stopped. Every now and then I still have do this with him, esp when he is tired. But as soon as I say 'What? I can't understand you!" he fixed his tone immediately. It would drive him NUTS that I couldn't (or wouldn't) understand him... lol
Hope this helps!

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answers from New York on

I'm with Rachel. I ask my son, "Are you whining?" and that's his cue to rephrase. I had to start, though, but literally ignoring ALL communication that was in the form of whining. It's tough, but eventually they get the idea... mommy can't hear whining... only "big boy" words!

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answers from Richmond on

I ask my kids, 'Are you whining?'... if they are, they put on a stink face and know to rephrase their concern as a question or statement, NOT a whine. I ignore whining at all costs... I have TWO girls, and there was a period of time when I swear, that's all they ever did. Now, they know better.

Flat out tell her you will not listen to whining and she'll be ignored unless she speaks like a big girl.

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answers from Lansing on

I feel your pain, my 2.5 year old is REALLY testing me lately! I just real calm say to her "are you done" finally she will pout and say yes, then I give her the attention she wants, up until then I tell her to talk to mamma. I know they are so so young, but they know the difference between freaking out and when they talk normal! Good Luck!


answers from Los Angeles on

It's not just a girl thing, my 2.5 year old guy was doing the same thing this morning. My approach is not to let him know it bothers me, to make him accountable for it, not to reward negative behavior, and to show him I love him in spite of the negative behavior.

He grabbed the remote a bit ago and turned Sesame Street off. OK, if he doesn't want to watch it I'm not going to make him. I took the remote and put it up high and he started crying he wanted to watch it. i said, "Then sit down and I will turn it on." (He'd already jumped down and was playing.) He said, "No," and I responded that the TV wouldn't be going back on until he was sitting...he was determined it would go on while he was running around. He proceeded to start whining and trying to get to the remote and I told him if he kept it up he was going to his room to sit in his bed, he REALLY didn't want that but kept crying and whining. I tried to calm him down and explained that he needed to sit if he wanted the TV on, and that I could not understand him when he whines, but he wanted to continue to whine. So I picked him up and we started to go to his room and he quieted down, said he wanted to watch Sesame Street. I asked him if he was ready to sit down, he looked surprised, I asked again and he said, "Yes." So I turned around and walked back, sat him of the sofa, turned it on and he's answering Cookie Monster about the "letter of the day" right now ; )

Things I've found that work are:
~ Keeping my voice calm and matter-of-fact. No yelling unless he's in a life-threatening situation, i.e., he was going to run in a parking lot or into a street. Part of continuing to whine is that toddlers or older children know it bothers you (I say this collectively of all parents) and assume (often rightfully) that you're more apt to give in to them, which I'm not.
~ Stating my request in the same words so as not to confuse him. I've found if I rephrase what I'm saying he thinks he seems to think he's winning the "argument", not sure why that is.
~ Going on about my business as if I don't hear him, he may get mad because I'm "ignoring" him, but he sometimes stops the whining because he's learning that I "can't hear or understand a whining or crying voice." As soon as he speaks in a regular voice I pay attention to him (rewarding his good behavior) and tend to his request.
~ Making him accountable for his behavior in that HE needs to stop doing what HE's doing, the crying or whining, because it's not acceptable. I will give him the choice to get what he wants or whine, but not the two at the same time. If he asked for apple juice and whines after getting it, I take the apple juice away until he stops. (No rewarding negative behavior.)
~ If he doesn't stop the whining I make it clear I don't have to and won't listen to whining and crying, and he's going to his room where he's free to whine and cry all he wants. The thing is, 4 out of 5 times he stops before we are in his room (I take him by the hand and if he refuses to walk I carry him.) If he is finished we go back to what we are doing, he can politely ask for what he wanted and we go on from there. If not I close the door and he may scream but I don't go back in until he's quiet, which is usually a minute or so, I realize he needs that time to himself to regroup and calm down. Whenever he calms down I thank him for stopping the crying and/or whining, ask him if he feels better (sometimes he tells me "no", lol) hug him and remind him that we don't whine or cry for no reason, and ask him if he understands. He always says "yes," but I know it's the consistent handling of the whining that will help him to really understand.
~ Recognize that if he's having a meltdown he may be tired and need a nap or to go to bed earlier. Most of the time when he starts whining and I ask him if he wants to take his nap (he still naps at least an hour each afternoon) or go to bed he jumps on it and says "Nap!" or "Bed!" and starts saying "goodbye" or "goodnight", hugging everyone and runs to find his bear, Arnold, and Puppa, his Pillow Pet so he can go to bed.
~ Show my love and understanding when he's upset, which doesn't mean I'm going to let him have his way. I let him know I love him and hug him (sometimes he pushes me away) and tell him I hope he feels better soon, but that he can't keep whining. Sometimes he nods his head like he understands or says "I know." ; )

The thing I've found that helps the most in dealing with toddlers is consistence on my part. If I tolerate the whining one time and not the next, he isn't going to understand and assume, rightfully so, that his behavior can be any way he wants it to be. He's learning about boundaries, what he can and can't do, both physically and socially, and if he doesn't learn this now it's going to be harder for him to learn later.

Hang in there, I know it's hard. Just remember, YOU'RE the mom, and YOU set the tone for her behavior. {{HUGS}}
And I'm sorry this is SO long!



answers from Tampa on

It's not just a girl thing or age thing. I have a 4yr old that does PLENTY of whining. I too try to get him to talk or ask a question in a regular voice, not a whiney one. You are not alone! LOL.



answers from Houston on

Oh no, It's my daughter too, everything I ask her to do its "NO", everything she says is whiny, cryee.
I now go to school full time, and she is in daycare, and my sanity is slowly returning!
What to do? hmmm, well seeing as nothing worked for me other than saying I couldn't understand her, I am not much help - just commiserating!


answers from Washington DC on

I used to tell them that when they could talk to me in their big boy/big girl voices, then I would listen. If they couldn't talk in big boy/big girl voices, then they were to go away until they could.
I did not respond to whining.
I, too, have a sign in my kitchen. It says: There will be a $5 charge for whining. If they whine, I charge $5. :-) They don't whine... trust me on that!


answers from San Diego on

Here's what I would do.. Tell her in a good moment, that her whining all the time is hurting your ears. Tell her that it's time she starts acting like a big girl and finds things to do on her own. Explain that you will be there for when she really needs you. Then put some headphones on with a audio book or some music you like. Putter around the house, keep a close eye on her, feed her on schedule, make sure you meet her needs. But IGNORE, IGNORE, IGNORE.

When she is trying to get your attention, take the headphones off if she is smiling. If you know she's whining, which I am sure you can tell through body language and the look on her face, IGNORE.

One of the problems I see with children are, a lot of moms think they must be the center of their universe 24/7. How can we expect a child to learn how to entertain themselves and consider another persons feelings or needs, if we cater to them all day long every day.

I started a new little girl recently. This child is so unbelievably used to being coddled, the very first day, she said this to the most whiny voice you can imagine...put on thick, like mollasses, "My wittle sock has dirt all over the bottom". She was baby talking to the point that I thought she was in deep pretense and playing with a doll. But no, she was talking to me like that and I realized I was in for it. This sweet little thing is instant tears at every turn all day long. She's 3 years old and has great vocabulary. So every time she starts to cry I remind her that I can't help her if she is acting like a baby. It's only been a couple weeks and she's already starting to use her words. Every time she gets frustrated, I try and help her with the words she should be using. But sometimes, there's no help for the self centured things a child wants in the moment when for whatever reason, it's not time or they can't have whatever it is. As I write this, my grandson is throwing a tantrum because he wants me to put on a cartoon for his nap time. He had his one show. He can scream to his hearts content. I do not care. A little pain for us both now, will mean much better days ahead when he learns to pick his own battles.


answers from Washington DC on

I feel your pain...when my kids whined - I would say "would you like some cheese with that whine?" or

"I can't understand you through the whining".

My daughter whined more than my boys. However, everyone whines at some point. Heck there are even adults that whine!! :)

The more you give into her when she's whining the more she will continue it. You can ignore her. It's hard, but really, if you don't want it to continue, you need to ignore and stop "feeding the fire" as they say.



answers from Detroit on

I know what you are going through! I have a 6 and a 2 year old too, both boys though. At 6, I hope your son is in kindergarten or 1st grade, so that gives you a break and it helps to teach him some life coping skills. My 2 year old is difficult and a whiner too. I tell both of my kids, "Momma doesn't listen to whiners." The older one understands this and is a great kid, but the 2 year old is still to young. Most of the whining in this house gets ignored by me. Don't get me wrong, I make sure that they are fed, cuddled, loved, played with, and listened to. But some days, the whinies come out and we have bad days! So, when either or both start whining, I send them to their rooms. Also, start by picking your battles with them. It's okay for them to want things sometimes--but, not all the time.

H., you cannot please your kids 100% of the time. What type of disciplne are you using? Timeouts, taking away privilges, grounding, swats? They need to learn that whining is not acceptable by you. They also need to learn to respect you. It's your responsibility to stop this behavior and teach them how to behave. YOU are the boss, NOT THEM! But, it's up to YOU also to give yourself a peace of mind and a break from the bad behavior by using discipline. If you don't, they will not respect you. Let's face it, raising kids is tough sometimes. What I've learned is that if I want the whining or bad behaviors to stop, it's up to me to take control. I am the adult and I am my children's parent. I am not their friend or buddy, so I need to set them on the right path. You need to set up boundaries. For instance, when my little one starts coming out of his room whining at me after I have told him twice to go in his room, I grab my spatula and tell him that his butt will get a swat if he doesn't go in his room. Timeouts don't work for my 2 year old neither does talking to him; however, a swat on the butt, gets his attention and it gets him to listen to me. So, that's what use. It may work for you, it may not. Every kid is different and responds differently to various disciplining techniques. My 2 year old listens better now that he knows I mean business. Now, with my 6 year old, I give him chores to do and he gets plenty of compliments and rewards, so it pays for him to do the right thing.



answers from Des Moines on

I put up a whimsical sign I purchased that said "No Whining" and declared the room it was in to be a "No Whine Zone". I put it in the room I occupied most frequently. (for me it was the kitchen) Then if they came whining, I would point out we were in the "no whine zone" and they would have to either stop whining or go into another room to continue.
My young children took this sign quite seriously and didn't want to break the rule. If I changed rooms the sign was in they would take note, make sure their siblings noticed and obey.
Not a real cure for whining, but it made it a bit more comical for us as parents. It would be quite cute to have a kid coming in the room whining, he/she would suddenly notice the sign, a look of resignation would cross their face as they muttered, "Never mind." as they left the room.
I still have my sign and my granddaughter knows the rules now as well!



answers from Salinas on

I think girls are worse with the whining but I also think it's more important to break that habit young especially in girls. Can't stand whiney, emotional girls (and women;) who manipulate to get what they want, it's very unattractive.
When mine went through that stage I just didn't reward the whine. If they asked for something in that tone I'd say "rephrase that please" or even completely ignore it until they spoke in a normal tone. If you do not respond and the whining doesn't work for her she will figure another (hopefully less annoying) way to get what she wants.
Stick to your guns, if you don't you'll have a whiney 5 year old, then a whiney 10 year old, then teenager and then yes, then the most annoying of all a whiney grown woman, ewwwww!

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