A new installment in:
Ask Away Thursday!
“How Do I Make My Toddler Stop Whining?”
Ah, toddlerhood. Meltdowns, tantrums, whining, sharing struggles…Oh, but you’ll miss these days, they say…
Unless you are blessed with the world’s most easygoing child, these trying times just come with the territory of raising a toddler. It is a difficult time for both mother and child! Your toddler is trying to learn and discover the world around him, and also testing his boundaries, to see what is acceptable and what is not. Toddlers are also learning how to manage their emotions- something I still struggle with myself! 🙂
So first off, I find it helpful to look at the world through my toddler’s eyes. I hate sharing. When the kids spot my chocolate during one of my numerous coffee breaks, do I extend a bite to them with a warm, loving heart? Usually not. (I may or may not have a serious addiction to sugar.) I have a tendency to whine, “Nooo, this is Mommy’s snack! You already have a snack!”. So try to understand where your toddler is coming from when he’s out of sorts…Our struggles in the #momlife and #toddlerlife are sometimes similar, yet different.
Work on ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. They can still say it in a whiny voice, but at least they sound polite, and you can coach the correct tone to use as you teach them to use their manners.
If things continue to escalate, and you find yourself at the end of your rope, here’s what I would recommend:
Easier said than done- no one knows that better than me, I’m afraid. But do your best.
I always try reasoning with and explaining to my child first. Whether or not she understands, it is worth a try…
“No, you can’t have that toy, because it is your sister’s turn. Be patient.”
“Stop; I told you that you have to wait a few minutes!”
Honestly, that rarely works, but it’s good to give them a warning.
So next, we move on to the threats….
“I said, WAIT; Do you want to get in trouble?”
(It’s okay to put a little emphasis in there, just don’t yell!)
If I’m feeling like mom of the year, I might sympathize with my child in a compassionate voice:
“I know you want that toy, but you have to wait a minute, okay? It’s alright…”. *hug*…*pat, pat*…*kisses*
At this point, if the whining still continues, I usually send my kid to the steps. That is our designated time-out spot. It works surprisingly well! I don’t have whining and crying in my face, she sits and pouts for a few minutes, gets it out of her system, and she moves on.
Another idea: try to distract your child. Redirect them to another activity. Whining kids are sometimes just bored kids! Getting outdoors is usually a perfect cure for most toddler ailments!
You may also consider, is your toddler getting enough sleep? Has he recently transitioned from two naps to one? Or started getting up earlier, going to bed later?
Is your daily life hectic? Maybe your toddler needs more quiet time to decompress. I noticed recently that my four year old seemed out of sorts after a fun, yet busy, weekend and several busy weekdays. Try slowing the pace of daily life if you can, and see if that helps. Plan a quiet activity he can do alone or with you during those especially whiny times of day. My 4 year old was exhausted after our busy Easter weekend/week, and she got pretty rotten at that point….We all felt better after a quiet, uneventful ‘jammie day’ spent at home.
We are currently in the throes of the very same situation as this momma. If my advice does not help, she at least has my utmost sympathy!
For more advice, check out what these bloggers had to say on the topic of whining:
Monica from A Mother Loving Mess
Crystal from Love More Live Blessed
Jen from Heaven Not Harvard
Nikki at Healing Mama Remedies was unavailable for comment as her toddler was busy whining.
Marisa from Call To Mothering was experiencing technical difficulties.