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What should I do about a continuously whiny 4-year old?

I feel like when I get home from work all she does is whine and complain. What can I do to make our limited time together more tolerable and happy?

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Asked by mommy6832 at 8:47 PM on Dec. 2, 2008 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (10)
  • I have a four year old boy who starts out the same way when I pick him up after work...I usually change the subject of whatever it is he's whining about and just tell him " I missed you so much today while I was at work and I am so glad to see you!" Doesn't work every time but it works a majority of the time.

    Answer by KMOM1130 at 8:59 PM on Dec. 2, 2008

  • Maybe she's just had a long day. Try to be sympathetic. Change the subject/direction of the conversation. If all else fails say "You are whining and my ears can't understand you when you whine."

    Answer by MamaOfB at 9:08 PM on Dec. 2, 2008

  • I tell my DD that I can't understand whining. When she talks in a calm voice I get really excited so she is more likely to act prim and proper.


    Answer by sadfairytale at 10:27 PM on Dec. 2, 2008

  • when my 3 yrold boy does that i say i cant hear him unless he talks (vs whines) and just tune him out when he does that (when he doesnt have a real need/reason for it and is honestly just being a whiner!) he sees that he is getting no where and lets me change the subject and moves on. maybe try that!

    Answer by AmaliaD at 11:44 AM on Dec. 3, 2008

  • I noticed that my 4 year old daughter whines more /misbehaves when I don't give her enough direct one on one attention.
    Maybe you can set up a routine each day - where you take 5 or 10 minutes of alone - snuggling time to talk and chill out.

    Answer by lanckn at 12:31 PM on Dec. 3, 2008

  • When my 3 yr old gets needy and I am stressed I find a 10 minute 1-1 session helps, not always easy/ Also, if in the car, ignore the whining or change the subject. When I pick mine up from day care, where she is a happy angel ALL DAY, she gets in the car and is an awkward little b, not letting me put the seat belt on etc!

    Answer by lucyannasmum at 3:29 PM on Dec. 3, 2008

  • My four year old son is the same way. We start from the time I pick him up from school with "Where's my snack" All the way to bed with "But I can't sleep with out a drink of water!" I ignore a lot of it and NEVER give in to the whiny demands. When the whining gets to bad I just take him to his room and tell him when he is happy he can come out. I think all pre school aged kids go through this my friends 4 yo is the same way. I'm hoping he will grow out of it soon.

    Answer by But_Mommie at 3:55 PM on Dec. 3, 2008

  • My 3-year-old went through a seriously annoying whiny stage. Like, it seemed impossible for her to say ANYTHING without her being cranky and on the verge of a tantrum. Threats didn't work -- they never do! -- so I got to to the point that whenever she said something in THAT voice, I took her into time out, SuperNanny style. I'd tell her why she was there, and sometimes she'd start a full-out tantrum on the step, because she HATED having to sit still. But she quickly learned to control her temper so she could get back to playing, etc.

    It works everywhere, too. If she starts whining at her grandparents', at church, or anywhere else (we even time-out-ed on a sidewalk!), I just tell her to sit down until she calms down. Sometimes it takes longer than others (especially when she's tired or not feeling well), but it's way better than getting into a yelling match with her.

    Answer by ElizaTucker at 7:48 PM on Dec. 3, 2008

  • If we are at home we send him into another room. But thats still kind of hit and miss because the other adults aren't consistent about it.

    I put a strict no whine policy on the car. I told him that if he did we would have to pull over. He tested me once and we stood outside the car in a neighborhood for about 5 minutes. Now all it takes is a reminder of "We are in the car, whats the rule?" and he stops whining almost instantly. However, he will only obey this rule if I am in the car, it doesn't work for anyone else. Mainly due to their inability to be consistent.

    Answer by NewMum2007 at 12:37 AM on Dec. 4, 2008

  • i have the same problem with my 4 yr old girl...her pre k teacher tells me she is soo good and sweet...but almost as soon as we get home sometimes as soon as we get in the car..she starts whining..and throwing drives me makes me think y is she beign so good for them and not me? if you find something that works please let me know. sometimes i dont enjoy being a mother because of it..i know that sounds bad but... try to spent time w her..and she whines and throws a fit if she doesnt get what she wants...and after a long day of work i would like to jsut relax for a min w out hearing fits..b4 i start dinner.

    Answer by sweetestkitten at 10:54 AM on Dec. 4, 2008

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