Whining is a tone of voice somewhere between crying and talking. And it’s definitely not pleasant to the ears.
The sound can get on your nerves, especially if it’s repetitive. So if you are annoyed and angry by it, it’s not your fault at all.
In fact, feeling peeved by your toddler’s moaning is very common!
It’s not uncommon for toddlers to whine. There can be many reasons behind it.
Now the question is how to deal with your whiny toddler. That’s precisely what we will be talking about in this article.
Why Do Toddlers Whine?
It’s a common misconception that toddlers whine because they are spoiled. And thus, they need to be disciplined. While it is a possible cause, that’s not all there is to it.
Toddlers may whine for several reasons. It can probably be because you are pretty busy and cannot focus all your attention on them. Kids don’t only love attention from those around them; they need it. So they might be whining because that’s the only time you look at them.
So What Should You Do?
In fact, according to Jane Nelsen, Ed.D., co-author of Positive Discipline for Preschoolers, sometimes they will do it just to get a reaction out of you. So the more you react, the more they will continue to do it. So scolding them won’t do any good either!
In fact, it will only reinforce the behavior more.
They might also whine if you ask them to do something they don’t like. For example, eat vegetables, or brush before going to sleep. Of course, by then, they must already know that you will give in if they whine.
It can also be when they are hungry or bored. The reasons might look small. But once it becomes a habit, they will do it all the time. It will annoy the daylights out of you.
How Can You Stop a Toddler From Whining?
There are a few tricks you can try out to stop your toddler’s endless whining. Let’s check them out.
1. Try recording it!
Most toddlers don’t even realize that they are whining. Or they don’t understand what’s so bad about it. That’s why this method can work wonders. When your baby is whining, record the voice on your phone. Then record another video of them talking some other time nicely.
Later, show them the recordings when they are in a good mood. Make sure they understand the difference between the two scenarios. Also, make sure they know you’re showing it to them so they can learn. You don’t want to make them feel ashamed.
Suggest how talking normally and calmly is more pleasant and effective.
2. Never Scold Them.
As mentioned earlier, scolding them can often make it worse. In toddler logic, bad attention is better than no attention! It’s normal to get annoyed over a whiny voice, especially if it’s happening too frequently. But you should keep yourself calm and not take the anger out on them.
Instead, it would be better to explain your point to your toddler. Keep your face neutral, but don’t ignore them. Instead, make it a rule that they should follow to be a “good child.”
Tell them you will only listen if they talk in a nice way. You can even make a particular gesture together with them, indicating that you’ve stopped listening. Moreover, you can tell them which words to use to let you know they’re hungry, want attention, or have a request.
Keep in mind that your kids don’t intentionally want to annoy you. If you give them a model to copy, they will copy it.
3. Don’t Give in to the Whining.
No matter how much sympathy you feel for your child, don’t give in. If you do, they will learn this behavior. They will use it, again and again, to get what they want. It will make them spoiled on the one hand, and the whining will never stop on the other.
Instead, steel yourself to those little devils! If your child changes to their regular tone, then fulfill his wish if you can, and in turn, reinforce what you want in a positive manner. If you can’t, then offer another option that they might like. It will give them the understanding that whining won’t do any good.
4. Praise Them When They Act Properly.
You may tell them off when they whine. But do you always praise them when they don’t whine and instead talk politely. Positive reinforcement is something a lot of parents forget. But you mustn’t be one of them!
Saying things like “I love it when you talk in that voice” or “Thank you for using that voice” will encourage them to continue this behavior. Kids love hearing praises, just like adults.
And kids also love making others happy. And mind you, there is no one your baby wants to see happier than you!
5. Try to Distract Them.
If your child is whining because they want something that you can’t give, distracting them may work. Of course, you should try to reason with them first. Only resort to distractions when it doesn’t work.
Maybe you can change the topic and remind them of something else. Or you can hug and cuddle with them. You can say, “How about I play with you instead?” Or “How about I read you your favorite fairy tale again tonight?”
It’s easy to redirect a toddler’s mind, but don’t do it too often. Once they notice you are always changing the topic, they will feel like you are always ignoring their feelings.
6. Don’t Give Up.
Please have patience with your little one! The tricks mentioned above might not show their magic in a day. It might require consistent, daily effort if your child is a stubborn one. Trying one day and feeling dejected because it didn’t work out will be no use.
Some kids may take more time; others will take less. But the effect will be there. And the effect is important, not just for your peace, but also for your child’s wellbeing.
After all, no one likes being around someone whiny.
Whining is not a behavior anyone likes to tolerate, even if it’s in a cute little child.
You don’t want your toddler’s friendships to be affected. Nor do you want them to become overly spoiled. So it’s important you start working on it as soon as possible!
Hopefully, these tips will help you a lot if your little one has begun to become a bit too whiny lately.