Whining 4 Year Old - Mothering Forums
Gentle Discipline > Whining 4 Year Old
augustmom's Avatar augustmom 10:52 AM 09-03-2007
Hi all, my dd just turned 4. She's less of a drama queen than she was at 3, but she still whines and cries. I realize that this is normal, but I guess I'm looking for effective ways to help her work through what ever it is she's feeling. Sometimes it obvious why she's doing it (tired, hungry, bored) but other times, it's more mind-boggling to figure out which is fine, but how can I quell this rather than saying "please stop whining." I give her hugs, tell her everything is ok, say that it's ok to feel sad, but it doesn't seem to help. Any suggestions? Thanks.


michaelsmama's Avatar michaelsmama 11:29 AM 09-03-2007
We tell michael to throw his "whiny" out the window/ car window, leave it outside, flush it away, wash it off, etc. It's a good visual for him and gives him the opportunity to start fresh and find a bit of humor in it. often works well if i'm relaxed about it.
lolar2's Avatar lolar2 12:35 PM 09-03-2007
Are you 100% sure she knows what the word "whine" means? I didn't really know what it meant until I was 18!
mistymama's Avatar mistymama 01:14 PM 09-03-2007
I can't stand whining .. I'm such a patient person, but for some reason whining gets under my skin and drives me nuts!!!

So I used to tell my son, "I can't understand your words when you whine" and help him by giving him the words to say .. like that he's hungry or tired, etc. It didn't take very long for him to realize I couldn't understand him when he whined and it was easier to just tell me what he needed.
DevaMajka's Avatar DevaMajka 01:23 PM 09-03-2007
Originally Posted by lolar2 View Post
Are you 100% sure she knows what the word "whine" means? I didn't really know what it meant until I was 18!
I definitely found that my ds didn't know what "whine" meant until I did a bunch of games with him to teach him.

I say "I hear that you have a need, but I need you to tell me in a regular voice."
or "I don't like to listen to that voice. Please ask in a regular voice."

It seems to me that whining decreases when I stop using the word "whine" or drawing much attention to it.
Danaoc's Avatar Danaoc 10:42 PM 09-03-2007
Luckily, my 3.5 ds doesn't whine much (we've got other issues of course), but we played a game that seemed to nip it in the bud for us. We role-played whining at him. My dh and I sat down with some of his toys and said, "Pretend you have this toy and I want it. If I asked you like this, Iiiiiiiiiii waaaaaaant thaaaaaaat. puhleeeeeeese. Give iiiiiiiiit tooooooo meeeeee. How would you feel if I talked to you like that?" He smiled because he recognized it and laughed, and I said, "It's kind of annoying huh? We prefer if you ask us in a gentle way."

So now on the rare occasions where he'll resort to it I'll say, "I need to be talked to in a gentle way. Can you ask me in a gentle way?"

Repeat game as necessary.

Blu Razzberri's Avatar Blu Razzberri 10:47 PM 09-03-2007
"Oh my GOSH!!! WHERE did you big girl voice go??!! Is it in your hair?? (dig through hair) ...no....is it behind your ears??? (look behind ears!) ..no...we need to find your big girl voice so mommy understands what you're saying! Can Name help me? What did you say?"

When she uses a regular voice: "Oh good, now I understand!"

Extra-help Note: This is my own slightly adapted version of what I learned by reading "The No-Cry Discipline Solution" by Elizabeth Pantley.

augustmom's Avatar augustmom 11:10 PM 09-03-2007
Thanks for the great advice, moms.
embers's Avatar embers 08:12 PM 09-04-2007
My youngest is a logical guy. I use logic and it works.

"Excuse me, Zion... I can tell that you need something or that you are having some big feelings. The problems is, I have a hard time understanding you when you use the tone of voice you are using. It is hard for me to understand. The sound of it also really bothers me and I am starting to lose my patience and I really don't want to. I would like to help you get what you want or need, or help you to feel better about whatever is going on. Can you please pause, take a deep breath, and start again? This time, use your normal voice, and I will stop what I am doing and give you full undivided attention."

I also explained to him that I tend to tune out whining, because the sound of it bothers me so much. I told him that if he pauses, says "excuse me, mom", and waits until I look him in the eyes, that he will be able to quickly and easily tell me anything, and that I will do my best to respond and help RIGHT AWAY.

I have had to do almost the same thing with my oldest about yelling and combative speech. It has helped both of them a lot.
Peony's Avatar Peony 10:41 PM 09-04-2007
I tel DD1 I that can't hear whining, repeat over and over with a smile, "I can't hear a whining voice". When she talks normally, I thank her for using her big voice, and then respond to what she was asking about. After doing this for a while, she switches to her big voice pretty quickly now.
MtBikeLover's Avatar MtBikeLover 03:47 PM 09-05-2007
i just say "Talk to me" or "Ask me with a nicer tone" or "I understand talking". I try to keep it simple just to quickly remind them to stop whining.