How to Handle Toddler Whining

The dreaded whining, a phase almost every young child goes through that allows them to get pretty much anything when they want it, is a sound all parents dread to hear. Many parents see it as a form of torture that allows their baby girl or baby boy to get whatever they want within minutes. Parents typically will do anything, literally anything, to get their child to stop whining. Fortunately, it is possible to break toddler whining. Once that torturous whining is eliminated from your life, both you and your toddler will be able to reap the rewards of victory.

Why Do Toddlers Whine?

Toddlers rely on adults for all of their needs and wants. Sometimes we as adults are not as responsive as a toddler wants us to be, which can quickly result in the toddler whining. The main reason your child may begin to whine is because they feel completely helpless. Toddlers are too young to always accurately express their emotions. Most toddlers don’t understand patience either, making them even more inclined to whine if you ask them to wait. Instead of being patient, children will immediately resort to using a higher and higher pitched voice to obtain what they wantunless they have been taught otherwise.

We all know how loud and annoying a whining child can be. It is definitely the last thing we want to hear while shopping in a grocery or sitting down to a movie. Yet, the more often a parent responds to their child’s whining, the more likely it is to continue. Instead of allowing the whining to continue, it is best to teach your children other effective methods to get your attention.

How to Handle Toddler Whining

1. Ignore It

The first way to break your toddler’s habit of whining is to simply ignore it. Every time they begin to whine, maintain a neutral stature and facial expressionand calmly inform your child that you cannot understand what they want in a nice voice. Some parents may even decide to create a warning sign to notify the child when they’re about to stop listening because of their whiningsuch as pulling on the ears or covering the ears and mocking being in pain.

2. Pay Attention to Their Needs

Your toddler constantly wants your attention for anything from another drink to play time. Their need usually occurs when you are concentrating on something else like a phone conversation. If your child asks nicely, it is vital to respond immediately even if you cannot instantly act on the request. For example, if your toddler is asking for a snack while you are on the phone,acknowledge their need and let them know when you will get it for them. Remember that more than two minutes will be too long for them to wait and may result in whining.

3. Don’t Make It Happen

Shopping or running errands when your child is tired or hungry is a recipe for disaster. If you cannot avoid interrupting snack time or dinner time, be sure to have items on hand that will help calm your childsuch as small healthy snacks. When it comes to nap time, it is better to stay at home and let your toddler sleep rather than take them out on any errands and expect them to still sleep. Even if it’s your best friend’s birthday party, if it’s your toddler’s nap time, make sure they can sleep.

4. Let Your Child Understand What Whining Is

In order to help your child understand what whining is, record their whining and nice voice. Remind your toddler that they are listening to these voices as an example of what they should and should not do. Now that the children know what their nicer voice is and what they should sound like, they are more likely to use it when asked.

5. Teach Them a Better Way to Communicate

Toddlers can’t always accurately express their feelingswhich can often result in whining. One way to help alleviate whining is to teach your child sign language from an early age to express their needs. Another option is to understand what has triggered it by asking specific questions calmly, and then help your child identify their emotion. Your calm will alleviate whining, whereas your frustration will only increase it.

6. Praise and Award Accordingly

Teaching your child the difference between a whining and nice voice is excellent, but children thrive more on praise and rewards. It may seem silly, but constantly praising your child for using their nice voice will only encourage them to continue speaking with a nice voice. Constant praise is the greatest factor in alleviating the amount of whining. Kids want praise, and once they know how to get it, they will use their nice voice more consistently.

7. Be Patient

Whether your child has been whining for a few weeks or several months, the habit will not be broken overnight.Remember to take your time in teaching them the new methods, and praise them when they get it right. Before you know it, your child will always be using their nice voice and the dreaded whine will be gone from your life.

Want to get professional advice on how to deal with toddler whining? Check this video out: