How to Teach your Toddler to Quit Whining: Ask Away Thursday

Children must be born with the innate knowledge that whining works and makes us crazy. Teach your toddler to quit whining!
(Last Updated On: April 14, 2016)

Reader Question: How do I teach my toddler to quit whining?

Ugh, I get it! Whining just exasperates me! Children must be born with the ability to whine and the innate knowledge that it grates on mommy nerves.

My mother-in-law jokingly suggested giving them everything they want.

I know for a fact that was not her strategy with her children or mine. She is a bit more old school and tends to just tell them to knock it off, which can be fairly effective from Grandma, but not so much from mom.

But this is an age old problem. And I’m sure my solution isn’t new, but it’s what works in my house, when I use it, which is the real trick!

My strategy is to refuse to answer.

My daughter will walk into the room, “MooOOm, I want . . . “

Sweetie, mommy can’t hear whine. Are you saying something?

I keep repeating this until she quits whining and asks nicely.

The real trick is keeping consistent. Whining is one of those things that really pushes my buttons, but I’ve had to learn to set my emotions aside, and respond to her behavior.

If telling her I can’t hear her doesn’t work, I then say, “you’ll never get what you want when you whine” and model the correct attitude and tone.

I will literally repeat the correct tone and wording over and over until she repeats it my way.

Then I’ll praise her. “Good job! Now you may have . . . .”

Again, the real trick is being consistent. I was reminded of that lesson a couple of weeks ago. Read about it here. Children must be born with the innate knowledge that whining works and makes us crazy. Teach your toddler to quit whining!

Children whine because it works. Pay attention to your and your spouse’s reaction to it. You’ll be amazed at how many times you’re accidentally encouraging it.

I know we were just getting cleaned up for the day and she started whining about it. It becomes something we as moms tune out, and let it go on much longer than we think.

I had to stop trying to debate her attitude and just quash it, nope, no whining. You can choose to quit whining or we discipline. Quit whining, she sighed.

I know sometimes we get tired, worn down and we give in because in the moment it is easier, but all it takes is one moment of weakness to teach your toddler that whining works.

An ounce of painful prevention in being consistent in ignoring the whining is worth a pound of curing discipline.

An ounce of consistent prevention is worth a pound of painful curing discipline. Click To Tweet

Teaching my daughter to quit whining is still (almost 6 years old) an exercise in my personal discipline, being consistent and not negotiating with this tiny terrorist who shares my home. 😉

I need pick a strategy, work as a team with my husband, and we see the attitudes and behaviors dramatically improve.

You can do it! Choose the strategy that works for you and stick with it.

Read the other great answers from our Ask Away Thursday Tribe here.

Check out this week's installment of Ask Away Thursday - one question, LOTS of answers!

 A couple of Thursdays a month, we’ll take a reader question and each answer it from our unique perspectives.
One question - multiple perspectives. Email your questions to momstribeadvice@gmail.com… Click To Tweet

Crystal Mendez from Love More Live Blessed shares recipes, budgeting tips, crafts and fun kid stuff on her blog. She never knew blogging could be so much fun! Love More Live Blessed – Toddler Whines Day

Rachel Osborn from Don’t Call Me Supermom will be joining us with her post at Don’t Call me Supermom.

Nikki Crump is military spouse and mommy of three who blogs about motherhood, mental health and fitness from Healing Mama Remedies asked our question this week!

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9 thoughts on “How to Teach your Toddler to Quit Whining: Ask Away Thursday”

  1. I agree with the working as a team with my husband. I told him that’s the only way we will be able to change certain behavior patterns. Thank you for the helpful and great advice!

  2. Consistency is key in parenting! I get asked the same question so many times, I think eventually my brain just shuts down and I answer, “Yes” before I can stop myself. Thank you for collaborating with us!

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