Whining: will it ever stop?
For parents, the sensation is similar to dragging your fingernails across a blackboard – and it’s incessant! And experts recommend that it’s a problem which needs to be nipped in the bud early. Find out how to deal with the inevitable toddler whine without going crazy. Read on...
It starts as soon as she wakes up in the morning and seems to continue until she finally whines herself to sleep at the end of the day. She can’t entertain herself or let you out of her sight –but when you’re together, nothing’s quite right for her. Sound familiar?
It can seem that if toddlers aren’t throwing tantrums or spitting out their food, they are in whine mode. Their socks don’t feel right, their milk is too hot or too cold, they want to get out of the stroller…
Whining, apparently, is just another step in their communication ladder. But these pint-sized whingers need to know – and early – that this is an unacceptable way of making requests or getting your attention.
Top whining busting tips
Here is how to nip this nasty habit in the bud before it becomes like water torture and you concede to their demands.
- Tell them to stop whining and ask nicely, providing an example of “asking nicely” – “Molly, say ‘Mummy, can I have a drink, please?’.”
- Provide one reminder, in a sterner tone, if they whine again.
- If they continue to whine, provide a consequence such as making them go away for a few minutes before they can “ask nicely”.
- Further whining should be completely ignored. You may need to walk away.
The important point is to be consistent and not give into her requests when she asks with a whining voice. And be warned: your child’s behaviour may get worse before it gets better – and may even result in a tantrum or aggressive behaviour towards you.
But eventually, hopefully, the whining will stop when she sees it gets her nowhere and just makes you annoyed with her.
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This article was written by Fiona Baker, former editor in chief of Mother & Baby, Pregnancy & Birth, Wondertime magazines for Kidspot, New Zealand's best resource for pregnancy and parenting.
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