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Do I crack the whip or let her continue to whine?

My daughter is 3. Every time I tell her no to something she whines and cries until I give in... and I do most of the time. I will say no and when she whines I think "Is it really that big a deal? I don't WANT her to have/do that right now, but am I willing to fight over it?" And I let her have/do what she wants. I'm wanting to buckle down on the bad behavior and the whining, but I feel like she's too young to understand... it almost feels like letting a baby cry, which I don't agree with. I don't want to hurt her feelings or make her feel bad, but I DO want her to take no for an answer when she asks for her 5th glass of juice or to watch her 7th cartoon of the day.

Am I just being a big softy or am I right in feeling this way?


Asked by Ati_13 at 7:17 PM on May. 31, 2011 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 24 (21,184 Credits)
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Answers (29)
  • I can see where you're coming from. I can relate because I was at a similar point with my first child when she was just about that age. (Things have changed a lot for me, but not through, uh, cracking the whip. lol) It is hard to be clear in the short format of "Answers" but I will give it a try. First...Reflecting on your knee jerk limits (such as the things you describe) and assessing whether they HAVE to be "no" responses is, in my opinion, a worthy effort. Being a flexible person who is willing to reconsider something & make humane adjustments as necessary is not some kind of "slippery slope" to avoid, as long as you are present & not simply changing out of fear, out of an inability to hold a reasonable limit that you fully believe in. The thing is, that is part of taking another person seriously: taking into account their feelings/responses & realizing (if it feels true) that you have been hasty or unreasonable.

    Answer by girlwithC at 9:34 AM on Jun. 1, 2011

  • Seriously, if you are giving in to all of her whims now, imagine how hard it is going to be to have her behave as she gets older and the battles become all out wars.

    Answer by bcauseimthemom at 7:29 PM on May. 31, 2011

  • Oooohhhh...I'm afraid you have to stop this one in its tracks. What she is learning is that if she throws a big enough fit, she will get her way. The pay off for her to continue the fits is huge...even if you say no to something, history has taught her that if she throws a fit long or hard enough, you'll cave. So the next time you say no...she thinks no is only no until she cries long and hard enough.

    Answer by Mom-2-3-Girlz at 8:16 PM on May. 31, 2011

  • easy answer. STOP GIVING IN!!!

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:21 PM on May. 31, 2011

  • Don't give it!! Let NO mean NO!! When my kids carry on I after I say it's a NO I send them to their rooms!! This has greatly reduces the after no whine!! (They are 4 & 7)


    Answer by Crafty26 at 7:22 PM on May. 31, 2011

  • You are gonna have to toughen up. You are the parent, she is the child, you make the rules, she follows them. Really, you should nip this in the bud now because your still bigger than she is, and one day, she will be a teenager.

    Answer by A.Perry at 7:37 PM on May. 31, 2011

  • sounds like she has you trained! If she keeps whining about everything then send her back to her room or put her to bed early! Just don't give in after you say no, or she will only get worse!


    Answer by Crafty26 at 7:45 PM on May. 31, 2011

  • Good grief, no offense but you sound like a pushover. She cries and whines because she knows eventually she'll have her way. No means no. Yeah, there is a good reason she shouldn't water the plants more - she'll kill them. Sheesh. I hate to be mean but seriously, this is why kids are such little brats today - parents are too soft to be parents.

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:52 PM on May. 31, 2011

  • Oh, and I will say that I follow a lot of attachment parenting...we cosleep, breastfeed, baby wear, etc...but at the end of the day, you have to be her parent. Your job is teaching her how to adjust to the world she is in and make smart choices...not find a way to accommodate every want. With your example of throwing balls in the house...not an option...she can throw them outside, and if you can't go out with her then, you can tell her when you will. "We don't throw balls in the house, I will take you outside after lunch".

    It doesn't always have to be "no" can give her an alternative...but I think once you say "no", you need to stick with it or the fits will continue and that really does not benefit her in any way.

    Answer by Mom-2-3-Girlz at 8:21 PM on May. 31, 2011

  • Oh God my daughter is the same way! Is she in school?

    Answer by MLM0503 at 7:24 PM on May. 31, 2011

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