Patented Q & A Database


How do you get a four year old to stop whinning?


Brenda Nixon, M.A. Replied: Believe it or not, whining is associated with language development. Most children go through a phase of whining - although it's quite unpleasant for us adults. Now just because something is developmental doesn't mean you must accept it. You are right to want to put an end to whining and the best way is to simply make a statement like, "Speak in your big boy voice." Then turn away to mildly ignore the whining. When your child speaks in a regular, non-whining voice then you can respond to his/her need. If your child persists in whining, you persist in ignoring until you get the desired tone of voice. Also, remember your power to persuade and model appropriate behavior - be sure you don't whine or you're "teaching" this to your child.
Posted On 2009-05-17 21:39:21
Christine Hierlmaier Nelson Replied: Ask them if they want cheese with their whine. In other words, ignore them until they ask nicely for something. Children whine and do other annoying things because it works for them...because you respond. Stop responding. Tell your child that you will respond when they are asking in a nice way, using manners. With enough repetition and consistency, your child will get the message that whining (or screaming or beating their heads against furniture) will not get them what they want. Plus, they will learn that it's rude. After all, who wants a child who grows up to be an adult and is still whining? Or demanding? We need more politeness in this world!
Posted On 2009-05-11 21:26:37
Trish Booth, MA Replied: Four year olds can seem so grown up at times that their regression to whining can be quite vexing. Here are some suggestions to reduce whining under several circumstances: Because four year olds are aware of the power of their speech, you can address some whining head on. When your child starts to whine because she wants you to do something, cut in and identify her tone of voice as whining. Then tell her that whining hurts your ears and makes it hard to hear what she is saying. She needs to talk in a nicer voice. Then, whenever the whining starts, calmly remind her that you can't understand her because she is whining. As soon as the tone of her voice improves, let her know you can hear her now that she is talking nicely. Repeat her request in a pleasant voice to reinforce the change and then deal with the request. Over time, and with many reminders of your inability to understand her whining, your child will whine less. Some whining is driven by the situation, including being hungry, tired, or overwhelmed. It is more effective to deal with these times by changing the situation, if that is possible. Children often whine in late afternoon after being at preschool or day care. You may be able to head off some whining by having a small, healthy snack available for the ride home or as soon as you get home. If your child is at home with you in the afternoon, consider having a 30-minute quiet time after lunch or later in the afternoon. Set a timer and have your child go to his room for this period of quiet play. Let him play with his toys, color, or "read" books. This gives your child a break in the action and time to regroup. If he is really tired, he may fall asleep. Pitch this as a positive part of the day, not like a "time out." Your child can listen to soft music or a recorded story. Don't turn on the TV or start a video or DVD because these options don't give him an opportunity to control his environment and rest. If whining occurs because your child does not want to leave an activity or go to a necessary one, it is best to ignore the whining. Instead, simply and clearly state what needs to be done and give your child a task, "It's time to go, now. Here is your jacket. Please put it on." Stay focused on each task that need to be done in order to reach your destination and praise her for her cooperation.
Posted On 2009-04-20 16:28:44
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