What are some tips to stop my 5 year old from whining so much?

Amy - posted on 06/21/2011 ( 202 moms have responded )

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In the last 2-3 months, my 5 1/2 year old has begun whining frequently. I am a single mom and I can't take it anymore. I'm ready to send him to my folks for a break. Any suggestions?!

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Tracy - posted on 06/27/2011

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Hi Amy. Whining is icky!! I have always told my daughter that I don't understand or speak whinese. Lately whenever she starts to whine, I just ask her, are you whining? I actually watch her take a deep breath and then she talks to me in a normal voice. It has worked! Good luck!!

Penny - posted on 06/27/2011

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I do not yell at my children. I was brought up with my mother ALWAYS yelling. I speak to them in a comely voice. Screaming and yelling at them just makes the situation worse.

Claudia - posted on 06/27/2011

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I too have a 5 1/2 year old and I don't aloud any whining tone at anytime. I tell her that if she wants to be treated like a big girl she needs to talk and act like one. I ignore her when whining and if she continues I give her 10min time out.

Czein - posted on 06/27/2011

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Something is bothering him that affected much his attitude or mood. Give him a break. Don't talk or play with him or in short, just don't mind him for a few hours. On that case, he will look also for some attention from you. Just try it.

Emerald - posted on 06/27/2011

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Try kneeling down to eye level with her and speaking calmly and reasure her everything's OK

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If they are crying/whining I put them in their room with the door open a crack and tell them to come out when they're done crying. If they are speaking to me with a whiney voice I tell them "I don't speak whine-eese." It keeps the mood light and helps them realize when they are whining. Make sure that

Diane - posted on 06/27/2011

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I'm going through the same thing with my 4 year old daughter. The whining & crying has become a constant. I'm at wit's end so I totally understand.

Catalina - posted on 06/27/2011

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I don't know if yelling your child who could be going through something (significant or not) that god may not be happy with them is the best thing. Children and adults have emotional, physical and spiritual things to process. And again if you feel fed up or annoyed, as many of us do at times, give yourself some rest and rejuvenation. BlessUP definitely no spanking, even though at times it is tempting. :)

Penny - posted on 06/27/2011

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I have 4 children ages 14, 12, 6 & 4. They all whine especially my 4 year old. Her & my 12 year old I think are running a race. I do ignore them, but after a while its get annoying. I send them to there room & if that doesn't work they get time out. I also tell them "Remember God can see what you are doing & do you think He would be happy with you right now?"Spanking is ALWAYS my last option. Any child can be hard headed.

Catalina - posted on 06/27/2011

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Sometimes children whine or are out if sorts before a developmental change. Whatever the reason, be kind to yourself and your child and get a break. Call in for backup from your support system and do something nice for yourself. Cheers, Cat

Gale - posted on 06/27/2011

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One of the things I have done is to tell my child, I'm sorry but your whining is draining my energy so in order to talk to me you HAVE to build up MY energy in order for me to listen. (building back my energy means to do a chore or a good deed. This is what we do at our house. HTH

Christine - posted on 06/27/2011

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Amy, If it just started in the past 2-3 months then look at the situation. What has changed? Are you working more? Do you have a new boyfriend? Has something happened at daycare? Sit down and talk to him. He may be 5 1/2 yrs old but he obviously has something going on that you need to get to the bottom of. Try not to blow up or get mad. I know being a single mom is hard but spending 5-10 minutes of quality time with him goes a long way ( no TV/ other distractions). Good luck.

Jane - posted on 06/27/2011

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Rebecca, good to keep it fun, but the cooking oil strategy seems like a lot of attention paid to a behaviour that should be ignored!

Debz - posted on 06/27/2011

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Sit him/her down, say " mummy does not understand you when you talk like that." as him/her to repeat what she/ he says and reward him for speaking in a normal tone. Eye contact and and talk to the child not at, worked for me. Reward the good and try and listen when they do talk normally. Hope this helps xx

Alex - posted on 06/27/2011

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The best thing about this post is all the responses letting me know that I'm not the only one going through this, and I am doing the same sorts of things to try to stop it. (except for spanking; and I have to admit I've probably included yelling in there at some point)! I always hate when people tell me it's "just a phase," but from the looks of everyone's post, that might be true. I support the idea of taking a break. Some special bonding time with his grandparents could be good for him, your folks, and you :) good luck!

Jane - posted on 06/27/2011

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I agree with Pam. Just say, "I can't understand that voice" and then turn and walk. Let your child know that once he uses a proper voice, then you will be ready to listen. It works.

Rebecca - posted on 06/27/2011

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Idea 1) In mid-whine say "excuse me, please, I do not understand whineese.... please stop, take a deep breath and begin again in a way I can understand you... I cannot help you if I do not understand your words." Idea 2) same as above interrupt politely and ask them to turn around and leave the room, and come back in and try again. Idea 3) At the dinner table or during another activity (Bathing, reading, whatever) begin saying everything to the child in a hideous whine... when they ask you to stop... you explain that you do not like listening to whining voices either. Idea 4) Interrupt them politely and invite them into the kitchen with you.... get a dab of cooking oil on your two index fingers and rub oil near their mouth... explain that you were just trying to stop the awful squeaking sounds that were coming out. Get creative and have fun ways to slow them down and remind them clearly that you love them and really want to hear them and understand them clearly.

Gwynn - posted on 06/27/2011

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My kids are 3 and 4. My son who is 3 has always been my whiney one and I al ways chalked it up to him being the younger one and the fact that his sister tends to get most of the attention. I'm a single mom too, Amy, and my mom helps me alot with my kids while I work. Her philosophy is to yell at him. I try to do what Pam suggested and ignore it or tell him that until he speaks to me without whining he won't get what he wants because I can't understand him. For tantrums they get time out. I have spanked my kids, but really hate myself afterwards, especially since I have watched my daughter "spank" her toys in play. Good luck, Amy.

Melissa - posted on 06/27/2011

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I agree with the ignoring advice. I tell my daughter that I can't understand her when she talks like that. It comes and goes. One thing I did was role play with her animals (she's not into dolls). I'm the whining animal and she plays the one that can't understand. That definitely helped!!

Tammy - posted on 06/27/2011

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I've been there! My response with both of my children was that I wanted to hear what they had to say, but couldn't understand them. I would use this during whining episodes and during "melt downs" (ie - crying fits and yelling). Hope this helps - hang in there and be strong!

Sandra (sam ) - posted on 06/27/2011

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I have a 11 year old that still whine, however, she does have some ment health problems. When she was small I would give myself a time out to get away from the noise. I would just step outside and close the door. Once I was clamed down I would go back in. This is what I still do.

Autumn - posted on 06/27/2011

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Ignore the whining and reward the correct behavior. I typically would ask my daughter to rephrase or adjust her attitude. She does it automatically now.

Laurie - posted on 06/27/2011

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I ignore it or tell them I can't understand unless they talk in a normal voice. Sometimes my 6 yr. old won't stop with these stategies and has to go to her room until she stops. This works very quickly and she comes back out with a new attitude. The trick is to find out what works best for your child. My three yr. old hates going to her room and will calm herself down so that she doesn't have to go.

Jessi - posted on 06/27/2011

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Glenn Latham has written several parenting books and college textbooks as he was a college professor for years. I would suggest a quick read from him called "Parenting with Love - Making a Difference in a Day." I'm not much of a book reader, but I finished it in less than a couple hours and it has made a tremendous difference in my parenting, which is shown by my children's behavior. You can find used copies on amazon for a couple dollars. He explains how and why to ignore it and how to replace the problem behaviors with good behaviors. The best part is, he explains how you do it by showing love to your children, not harsh punishment that just makes them angry. :)

Amanda - posted on 06/27/2011

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I say if the ignoring doesn't work (because I don't like ignoring my kids I think it makes them feel like they are not worth my time and I would never want my kids to feel that way) I say use positive reinforcement. If you have a good relationship with you child... Just explain the situation. When you whine it makes me feel upset and if you would just ask in a normal voice, I have no problem in helping you get what you need. I like having my good boy/girl around me so can I please see you act like that.
Just a thought... I have just used an honest approach with my kids and explained why things happen and what will happen if they don't follow those rules and they get it....

Melissa - posted on 06/27/2011

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I'm in the same situation...single mom, 5-1/2 year old son. When he whines, I ask him to use his 'regular' voice...I joke and say, "I miss [son's name]! Where is he? That whiny guy isn't my little man!" and it generally works. When it doesn't, I tell him he has 3 chances to stop and then there will be consequences, and that always works with him. He doesn't really do it much anymore, but he is 5 and, well, sometimes they whine lol. Good luck, and remember to give yourself some adult time. I know its easier said then done, but you gotta do it!

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My 6 yod has started doing this. I usually just ask him to take the whining and go sit on his bed. Then I tell him he's welcome to come off his bed when he's finished whining and ready to come out of the room with a happy heart. He's a pretty stubborn little guy so he sits in there a while before he finally realizes he's not going to get what he wants from me. But he doesn't like being isolated. I have put it off on him to change instead of me.

God Bless,

Karen
mom of 7, ages 1-12

Amy - posted on 06/27/2011

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I have started to ignore the whining and if they keep on I just look them in the eye and tell them I do not understand whining.. I only understand your BIG voice... and it has been working for me. :) good luck.. from one Amy to another.

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Hi Amy,
I completely agree, no whining gets you anywhere, especially with mom.
as all the other moms said, IGNORE whining. I have also found ways to change their behavior as well.
With many years and many 5yr olds behind me, I have found that at this age, they are ready to be a little more independant, and are looking/searching for ways to do so. They are frustrated because they know what they want but are unsure of how to get it. I have always given 'choices' to all my preschoolers/kindergardeners and my own children /grandchildren. (it even works with the elderly:) ). For instance....One little girl( I will never forget her) always knew she didn't have to take a nap because her mom came to pick her up during nap time, but in our school class if you were in the room, you had to lay down at nap time, and we read a story before the kids fell asleep. This particular little girl was always able to get her way whining at home...she was hard to deal with in the class room because of it.
One day at nap time, she announced to the class 'she did not have to take a nap like the rest of them and that she didn't have to use her cot, her mom was coming soon.'
The other teacher tried everything to make this little girl lay down because it 'was the rule'. She would wine and cry lying on the cot, and none of the kids were able to hear a story and she was very disturbing to the class until her mom showed up. Since the other teacher was the head teacher, I never said a word to her. But the first day she was out sick, I took advantage of it.
I told Little Anna that she is right, she did not have to take a nap. In no way shape or form. BUT you do have 2 choices, you can choose to sit outside of the room and wait for your mom in a chair in front of the door, or... you can come in and lay on the cot(without falling asleep) so that you too can hear the story until your mom gets here.
She chose sitting outside the room in a chair in the hallway where we could watch her through the window. She sat there all alone for all of about 3 minutes. Then she could hear everyone laugihing at the story and decided to come in quietly and lay on her cot to hear the story until her mom came in. Never said a word to anyone coming in the room. She had made her decision, no whining and no disturbances. I learned in school, that to give children their own head sometimes is the best way to get them to behave. There is always more than one option we as parents and teachers can live with and if you give kids that age 2 choices, they feel more in control and the more in control they are in, the less they act out.
The more choices they have , the bigger they feel and the less need for the whining. I have given all of my kids choices and let them figure out the wants and needs they feel, ... as adults, they are good decision makers and I do not have to worry about them making bad choices. I have never once even had to ask my kids if they have gotten their homework done. Everyone tells me ' you are so lucky with your kids'....Gota tell you..... its not luck, it is letting kids be kids, but letting them choose who they want to be and standing behind them. It is called Respect.

Sheila - posted on 06/27/2011

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We as adults seem to forget whinning is simply trying to get attention and your way. There are so many adults who do this exspecially in the work place ...find out the cause of the whinning then adress it accordingly if it is something they are eally being childish ..well if it is something that appears really important then find a median sometimes whinning is attention getter ...then there are times something is wrong. YES my child whines too and so do I when i want my way just a different way of whinning ..more like a brat!!!!

Katie - posted on 06/27/2011

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Every parent needs a break! There is no shame is sending him to see Grandma and Grandpa so that you can catch a breather! As far as the whining goes I would recommend not responding to the whining. My daughter started doing this when she turned 5 and I stopped it by saying "Mommy isn't going to talk to you while you are whinging. So when you can use your big girl voice we will try again." It worked really well for me. Good luck!

Rose - posted on 06/27/2011

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Five year olds whine alot. my daughter does the same thing but i have noticed is i ignore the negative behavior it doesnt happen as much.

Amanda - posted on 06/27/2011

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My 4 year old whines from time to time - lately it is the opposite with us - she's been using her whiney baby type of voice when she is happy not begging for stuff. At first i thought it was cute, but then (since she has always been advanced for her age) it actually got old within the first day. I tell her not to talk to me in a baby voice and simply that she is a big girl. I agree with everyone else - ignore the whines and praise when they don't. Maybe if say they are asking for a cookie and they don't whine you say "okay you can have a cookie and since you didn't whine i am going to give you two". (but that might back fire on you- LOL)

Debby - posted on 06/27/2011

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5 year olds whine--it is normal. But it does not require an answer. With both my children and students, whining did not get one...when they spoke in their Big Voice, they did. Problems solved :)

Laura - posted on 06/27/2011

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It's just a stage most 5 year olds go through.Ask any kindergarten teacher. Everyone is right. Just don't give him what he is whining for unless he speaks in a normal voice. The "I can't hear you when you are whining." works well.

Barbara - posted on 06/27/2011

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when he does that check to make sure he`s all rite then if he is ok. Put him in time out in a chair in the corner and tell him this is where he goes for that. Has he been around a sall child or baby with in the 2 or 3 months this has happened? What has changed in those months that triggered it.?

Sally - posted on 06/27/2011

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I have a 7 year old son and a 3 year old daughter. They will all whine at some point, but a friend once told me that she made it a hard and fast rule that if you whine or throw a tantrum you get nothing. It works like a charm on mine, the minute it starts I say to them, "What do we get when we whine?" They will stop and say "Nothing!" or the other one will do it for them. As long as you stick to it and insist they use their normal voice they will usually stop. All they really want is attention, and if they know they won't get it until they adjust they usually adjust. But you can still send them to Grandma's for a break! :-)

Jodi - posted on 06/26/2011

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I don't REALLY know why, but my mother said we were all the same in that period before school (I am one of 5). Quite a number of my friends have found the same thing. I suspect it is because they are ready for the new challenge and they are more easily bored at home......

Hey, maybe it is natures way of helping us prepare for sending our kids to big school and not feeling so bad about it, LOL.

Amy - posted on 06/26/2011

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Ya, he starts kindergarten in August and the whining began in about march. If it has to do with the advent of real school, why do you think that is? He's been in a formal, Montessori preschool for 2 years where they combine preschoolers with the kinders. Let me know if you have any feedback on that; I'm interested on what you think.

Cheers,
Amy

Jodi - posted on 06/26/2011

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Holly, I guess as you are pro spanking, we'll never see eye-to-eye on that issue anyway.

Amy, a question, has your son started in school yet? Not pre-school, but full time school? I just ask because my experience with my kids has ALWAYS been that 6 months or so before they start school, they tend to go through this phase. It totally drove me nuts. I also find my 6 year old gets particularly whiney when she is tired.

Anyway, just some food for thought.

Holly - posted on 06/26/2011

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to each thier own I used it as a last resort just an idea sorry to upset all of you.

Jodi - posted on 06/26/2011

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"spank him"

Are you kidding me? Spank him for whining is your first instinct? The punishment should fit the crime and I hardly think whining is even close to a spankable offence. That makes me sick :\

Amy - posted on 06/26/2011

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I will never spank my child, ever. Spanking breaches trust and fosters the idea that hitting is okay. Violence of any kind/caliber is intolerable in my home. This is not an option. Period.

Amy - posted on 06/26/2011

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I will never spank my child, ever. Spanking breaches trust and fosters the idea that hitting is okay. Violence of any kind/caliber is intolerable in my home. This is not an option. Period.

Jodi - posted on 06/21/2011

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I think they all whine at this age, its a stage they go through. Just ignore him when he whines. Make it very clear that if he whines you will not listen, and you will only hear him when he asks/talks without whining. He'll get the message.

Sherri - posted on 06/21/2011

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Completely ignore it and simply tell him when he can talk to you in his normal voice, you will speak to him until then you walk away.

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