Patented Q & A Database


My two-year-old has become very whiny and getting worse. How can I stop this behavior?


Judith App-Winter Replied: When parents respond to a child's whining, it tends to result in more whining and frustration for you both. Your child wants your attention and has found a way to get it. If you give in to her whining, you'll just reinforce the negative behavior because your child is learning that whining gets a reaction, good or bad. The result will be a no-win power struggle. Take back your parental control by refusing to respond to whining, and then explain what kind of behavior you expect of your child. When your child exhibits more positive behavior, praise her.
Posted On 2004-04-04 19:58:33
Rhonda Clements Replied: It is important to remember that toddlers only have a vocabulary of approximately 200 words, and sometimes resort to whiny and expressive behavior as a way of communication. Toddlers also have not yet learned how to play with other children, and therefore are more dependent on the parent for attention, praise, and security than preschool children. Since toddlers enjoy repetitive physical tasks such as filling and refilling buckets or exploring their environment through newly learned physical skills such as running, jumping, or more advanced climbing, provide your child with these types of play opportunities. Rhythmical tapes, oversized construction toys, activity tables, small doll carriages, and ride-ons propelled by the feet are other favorite forms of entertainment that foster creative development and appropriate expressive abilities.
Posted On 2004-04-04 19:51:11
Sally Goldberg, Ph.D. Replied: Pay as much positive attention to your child as possible. Take advantage of every moment you can to act positively toward your child. He is likely to respond positively to your overtures. Make it your business to keep pointing out what he is doing well, however small—sitting up straight, putting a toy away, eating a healthful food, building a small tower, and even just holding your hand. Hug him, bounce him, and smile at him whenever you can in appreciation of his being in your life. Remember to keep saying, "I love you." Paying such positive attention will have its own way of decreasing whining and negative behavior.
Posted On 2004-04-04 19:46:00
Bernie Pepchinski Replied: Whining is an irritating sound and as such gets our attention, thus the child gets his needs met and reinforces the behavior. Try anticipating and observing what situations and time frames bring out this response from your child. Act before the whining makes you react. Set your watch for 10 minutes before your child's threshold and plan to leave or alter the activity. Use the HALT acronym as a guideline: Hungry- bring along finger foods (cheerios, raisins)-water bottle etc. don't get into a new problem by using high sugar snacks. Angry-your child may be angry, but may have to participate acknowledge his feelings and set limits but stick to your guidelines, even if it means you leave an event. If you are consistent you will find your child believes and accepts your limits. Lonely-Children need to play, try to provide opportunities for the child to have social interaction. You are not an adequate playmate. Tired, any thing that can be scheduled should take into consideration the rest factor. Ask for the fist appointment of the day, or after naptime so you are not waiting with a child who has discovered the art of whining. Parents should take HALT rules into consideration for themselves so THEY aren't the ones whinning!
Posted On 2004-04-04 18:52:01
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