Anyone else have a super whiney (sp?) toddler? My son is pretty verbal and has a good vocabulary for his age (24 months) but it seems like he whines constantly! Whenever he's frustrated, uncomfortable, upset, tired, hungry, or just wants my attention, he turns into a whine monster. I know it's pretty normal and just his way of expressing himself at this stage and getting his needs met, but oh my god does it drive me crazy! I've tried ignoring it in hopes that the negative reinforcement would discourage the whining, but no luck. Inevitably it gets to my nerves and I end up responding---often less pleasantly than I'd like.
Any tips on dealing with the whining more productively?
- Empathizing, i.e., "Yes, you're sad we can't play more", etc.
- Encouraging her to use her words
- validating her feelings and then giving her space to work through them (or walking away to avoid going nuts)!
Now my youngest has a totally different personality, and let's just say that she has impressive staying power. I'm using all the same tricks and they're not working at all, but I keep trying! Maybe we can commiserate here to stay sane!
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ds doesn't whine too too much but he does sometimes- and sometimes I let it be, he is free to express his feelings- I know I whine sometimes too! but other times when it is too much and I know he is ok and he is just going on and on I can say," ds, stop whining.'" I think with gentle discpiline sometimes parents forget that we can sometimes TELL our kids to act in a certain way. It is not that they always listen but at least we can tell them what our behavioral expectations are for them. Just the same as sometimes saying no. Sometimes it surprises me and actually works! If I say, ds, stop whining- in a firm voice- sometimes he will
This doesn't work as well now as it did when my ds was a bit younger, but I would say, "DS, I cannot understand you when you use that voice. Can you please use your sweet voice?"
Then, I would do my best to ignore the whines, and pay tons of positive attention to the sweet voice when it came back.
Great tips--thanks for sharing! When I'm feeling centered and patient, I do ask my son to use more words and try to empathize with him, and just generally tune in to his needs (he usually just wants attention.) But when I'm feeling overwhelmed or needing to concentrate on something, the whining drives me up the wall and it's hard for me to respond in a constructive way. I will definitely try telling my DS to stop whining, as you suggested Snapdragon. In general, he's just a pretty high needs kiddo, and the whining is an expression of his desire for constant attention and engagement. But I want to help him learn how to express his needs in a way that people will want to respond---and not want to pull their hair out!
I do this, and so far it works pretty well. DS is 23 months, and doesn't whine that much. But when he does I say "I can't understand you, please say it clearly", and sometimes I model the clear sentence, and he usually repeats it in a normal voice.
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