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What do you say to stop their whining?!

I don't want to go to the bathroom! I don't want that, I want cookies. I don't want to brush my teeeeeeth! *putting hands over mouth and going limp* (Agh.)

Does any of this sound familiar? First, it was "NO! Don't do that!" Then I stopped that behavior by saying, "I'll let you know what works for me/us..." Now, going through daily routines, especially in the morning, my 4 year old is crying and whining the whole time. He does what we say eventually, but very reluctantly.

So far I've been chucking up to "normal but difficult" behavior. What can I say to let him know I'm not going to put up with his attitude?

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Asked by BarbaraAnn22 at 3:17 PM on Jan. 22, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 2 (5 Credits)
Answers (6)
  • I tell my kids that I don't understand whining and I don't speak to them or answer them until they ask for what they want properly. I give them examples "Do you hear how mommy is talking? I am talking the right way!" in a positive tone of course

    For example, if they say "I waaaant juuuuiiiccee!" I ask them if that's the way to ask for juice. They say "No.... May I please have some juice?" Then I say "That's so much better!"
    They are 5 and 3.5 now and most of the time they will ask correctly the first time unless they are tired. Oh, and I always praise them for asking properly the first time. Hope this helps you.


    Answer by redcloud at 3:37 PM on Jan. 22, 2009

  • Don't say anything. He wants to engage you. Most likely he's whining because at some point it has worked for him.
    Try this:
    Step 1: Make the request. (count in your head to 5)
    Step 2: If he didn’t do it show him how to do it, then undo the task that I showed him with you simply saying "you do it".
    Step 3: If that doesn't work do "hand over hand" and physically do it with your my hands over his. The third time you say nothing.
    Remember to praise him like crazy when he does something you tell him w/o having to do hand over hand. It may take 200 times but he will "get" it.
    By talking to him he is getting a payoff. The longer you talk, plea and argue the longer he can put off doing what he doesn’t want to do.
    Every once in awhile he will try it again and we have to show him we still mean it. Good luck!

    Answer by mrsrevjohnson at 3:45 PM on Jan. 22, 2009

  • When it comes to whining and screaming, I just remind my son to use his manners. I tell him that I can't hear him otherwise. As for not wanting to do something - pick your battles. He doesn't want to brush his teeth? bed now with no books or kisses (I don't want to smell your yucky breath) - his choice. Don't want the juice? He can have water or juice or nothing...his choice. Hungry? He can have an apple, carrots or cheese for snack - his choice...Sorry...cookies are not a choice, but if he prefers, he can wait until dinner if he don't want the apple or cheese. Give him choices (only choices that you can agree with), consequences and decide what really matters (how much energy do you want to waste). Let him learn that he has the choice of whining and being ignored or using manners and getting a response.

    Answer by JPsMommy605 at 3:46 PM on Jan. 22, 2009

  • I like the second answer here for when a kid won't do as ask but if they are whining for things then I am deaf. I can not hear a whining voice. I told them they ask right or I just can't hear it.

    Answer by Lyndall at 5:59 PM on Jan. 22, 2009

  • I agree with the others. Ignore all whining and when they ask why you're not responding, you explain that we don't "whine" in life and they can speak nicely to get something. Ignore this even if it means going to school half dressed, with unbrushed teeth, etc. The more you put energy into it, the more he knows you're bugged by it. Totally let it go for a week and see what happens.

    Answer by jeanclaudia at 11:40 PM on Jan. 22, 2009

  • I agree with everyones replies. Except I would never send my child to bed or school with out brushing their teeth.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:38 PM on Jan. 23, 2009

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