Does anyone else have a whiny toddler?

Jennifer - posted on 02/24/2009 ( 8 moms have responded )

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My daughter is 19 months old and is so whiny. I think I do a good job at meeting her needs and wants without giving into her every whim but if things don't go her way then that's it. I try to distract her with something else but if she gets in the mood to whine there is no stopping her. Sometimes it gets to the point when its a full on tantrum and she starts hitting but that's when i put her in "time out" where she can calm down without hurting herself or anyone else around her. It probably doesn't help that i'm pregnant with our 2nd baby....i think i have less patience and get tired of it faster than i would normally. Does anyone have any ideas on ways i can get her to curb this whining? Or is anyone going through or has gone through the same thing?

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Jessica - posted on 02/25/2009

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Been there, done that! My babies are almost exactly 18 months apart and I had the EXACT same problem... don't feel bad for getting frustrated easier- it is a very frustrating situation on its own, let alone hormones to complicate the situation!

First things first, I would make sure nothing hurts or is medically wrong. Sometimes toddlers cannot understand what it is that hurts, but just that they are uncomfortable and the resulting whining is their only way of communicating to us that something is wrong.

However, I'm sure you have already covered that so we'll just skip on- the first step is to try to find out what he/she is trying to gain by whining. Luckily toddlers are generally pretty transparent, so this is actually not as difficult to figure out as it seems.

Corban was looking for attention in most cases so what worked for us was what we call the "Whiny Bag". I know, it sounds weird, but hear me out. It is actually a particular pillowcase (very recognizable- ours is blue and green plaid) you might even let her help you decorate it! The idea was that I had to find a way for him to see that this was not the way to get the attention he wanted. When he started whining, I would hand him the whiny bag and put him in the corner for time out. I would tell him to "tell it to the whiny bag and I will listen to it later." (He will generally cry and scream "I don't want the whiny bag!" but then settle down) Then I ignored him while he was in the corner- I would not even look directly at him (trust me, she will pull out all the stops to get your attention while in time out, ESPECIALLY the first couple of times but you have to stick to your guns!) If he came out of the corner I would not look him in the eye, just pick him up and put him back in the corner then go back to what I was doing. IF the whining/crying got too out of hand for me to continue my activities, I would put him in the next room (in a playpen or his crib when he was small enough, now he goes to sit on his bed and I close the door to the bedroom since he is old enough to handle that.) When the whining/crying stopped, I would come get him out of the corner (or next room in particularly bad episodes), hug and kiss him and tell him that I loved him to reassure him and to bring home the message that when he is not whining and crying I am happy to give him lots of love and attention- a little positive reinforcement for having calmed down....and we would go on with the activity we had been engaged in before the whining.

If I can tell he wants something and I am pretty sure what it is, I will suggest how to ask for it (ie: drink please, snack please, etc.- when he was younger we used simple sign language ie: drink, eat, etc.) When he repeats the request I praise him for asking so nicely and get it for him. (This weeds out whining as an attempt to have needs met due to lack of social skills to know how to request something- I think it also makes for a much more well mannered child by demanding using please/thank you rather than giving in to "demands"- "i want" "give me" etc.)

Now all I have to do is ask if he needs the whiny bag, and he will settle down almost immediately (most days). I put it in my purse or the diaper bag for outings, and in general it goes wherever we go just in case he needs a reminder. We do have our rough days still, but overall it is AWESOME! I hope it works for you too- Good luck!

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Karla - posted on 04/10/2012

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I'm in a very similar situation. My daughter is 2 1/2 and i am 5 1/2 months pregnant with our second child. During this pregnancy (as with my first) i've had hyperemis. I also feel that i do a great job of meeting her needs, but as with your daughter, if something doesnt go her way she will whine/scream or sometimes she will hit me. (the majority of the time she behaves great lol)



When she starts whining, for example when she doesnt get a piece of candy or a toy w/e. I calmly tell her that we can not whine to get what we want and if she continues she will get a time out. Also if she is asking for something in a whiny tone, i will tell her that mommy cant understand you when you whine. If it escalates and she screams or trys/does hit me. I tell her we do not scream/hit and she gets a 2 min time out in her bedroom with the door closed. When i go in to get her, i again say why she had a time out, ask her to apologize and then give her hugs and kisses. I find a calm approach works best, if you get worked up, your child will too.



I also try to make sure my daughter has lots to do during the day. When its warm out we go in the backyard and play bal or go to the parkl . On days where i am tired i will draw with her. Crayola color wonder books and markers are amazing, no mess. LOL. Also i'll let my daughter watch some treehouse tv. There are a few shows she likes which occupy her for a bit (yay dora)



Lastly i give loads of positive reinforcement!!! When we have a really good day i tell her how proud i am of her for acting like a big girl and i'll give her lots of hugs and kisses. Sometimes we'll go out for a treat :)



Hope this helps Jennifer :)

Shara - posted on 04/10/2012

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I like the whiny bag thing. My husband just got finished giving me a spill on how whinny he was as a child....like that was suppose to help me. I will say that in my son's classroom he is the whinniest, slowest in speech, and the only one not potty trained yet. He just turned 3 at the end of March. It just makes me feel so bad.

Jennifer - posted on 02/25/2009

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That's a really good idea Jessica! I never would have thought of something like that! Thanks for the great input!

Jennifer - posted on 02/24/2009

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Thanks for your comments ladies! Sometimes its just nice to hear other mom's stories even if they're going through the same thing....makes you feel normal again and that your toddler is normal too despite their defiance, haha!



Thanks again! The frustration is fading :)

Rachel - posted on 02/24/2009

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I have a 19 month old as well who is very whiny and very insistent that she get her way and if she doesn't than the world as she knows it ends. We do the "time out's" as well when she is just so defient and won't listen and I think that helps as I can often threaten the corner and she'll stop with her attitude and move on. However, I think the biggest thing i've found to help when she's really whiny or frustrated is to acknowledge that I understand she is upset and i'm sorry about that and then I bring up something to distract her so i'll get all excited about playing with her blocks or a toy I know she likes or I will ask her to pick out a good book that we can read. That has seemed to work fairly well. Obviously it doesnt always work but it's the best thing i've found to do when she's in one of her "mood's". Hope that helps! Good luck, I think most toddlers are this way so I don't think any of us are alone in dealing with this!

-Rachel

Paris - posted on 02/24/2009

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Yes!!!!! I am going through the same thing my son is 25 months and he is driving me nuts. He whines about EVERYTHING I try not to get frustrated but its hard. If I put him in timeout he stays there and screams to the top of his lungs...I dont have any suggestions hence i am going through the same thing but i hope you feel better knowing you are not alone..I do...

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