How can I Teach my Child to Stop Whining?

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  • Written By: Nychole Price
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 12 August 2019
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A child's whining can drive a parent up the wall quicker than anything else. Children usually make the high-pitched squeaky noise in an attempt to get what they want from a parent or provider. Oftentimes, when the whining doesn't get her what she wants, a child may resort to temper tantrums. With dedication to the issue, a parent can help the child to stop whining and use her big kid words.

Children often whine because it works. They may have learned that the louder they whine, the more quickly they get what they want. The best way to stop whining is to ignore it. Inform your child that if he wants something, he needs to ask in his big kid voice. If he whines about it, you won't listen.

Young children may not know how to ask for something like a big kid, and therefore, resort to whining. Find out what your child wants and tell her how to ask for it. Have her repeat after you. If she won't stop whining and ask properly, tell her you are done listening.

Some children respond well to humor. Show your child what it sounds like when he whines by whining at him. When he comes up and asks you for something in a whiny voice, tell him you don't understand him, using your whiny voice. He will probably laugh and ask you like a big kid.


If your child won't stop whining, and it leads into a tantrum, place her on time-out. The appropriate length of a time-out is one minute for each year of age. Tell your child that when she is ready to talk to you like a big kid, you are ready to listen.

A child will often display the desired behavior when he is rewarded for it. Try rewarding your child every time he asks for something without whining about it. Eventually he will stop whining and ask nicely just to get rewarded. Stickers and candy makes great rewards.

When your child is able to go the whole day without whining, start rewarding her with slightly bigger incentives. Offer to read an extra story at night when she doesn't whine for the whole day. A trip to the park may be enticing for active children. Plan a fun trip when your child goes a week without whining. Do whatever it takes, within reason, for your child to stop whining and you to regain your sanity.


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Post 2

I know that it sounds kind of silly, but I read a book one time about how to handle preschool-age children when they whine. One of the things that it said was to give them an unexpected reaction when they start whining.

An example would be to whine back at them and let them know how ridiculous they sound. You can also get out a small tape recorder and record your child whining and play it back for them to hear.

Post 1

I have a 4 year old daughter and she is a chronic whiner. I have learned to have a lot of patience. When she starts whining for something such as a toy or a snack, I let her know that until she can ask properly, she will not get it.

If she still chooses to whine (which she normally does), I tell her that I am going to ignore her and I turn and walk away. That usually does it. She hates being ignored.

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