How to deal with the whining?

Sandy - posted on 06/11/2011 ( 4 moms have responded )

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My son is 2 1/2. He has a VERY LARGE vocabulary. He says everything! but he has always had a problem expressing himself when he wants something. He didnt do any pointing until almost 2 I worried until he started talking as much as he is now. Problem is he still wants me to play the guessing game we did when he was an infant. You know when babies cry and you have to guess... is he wet, is he hungry, does he want to be held? He will just whine and whine until I get irritated and I will want to scold him for whining but I know he is just trying to tell me something that he doesnt quite know how to express. Is this something that will stop the more he learns how to communicate or is it something that I am not teaching him? Is this something I should be worried about? any adivce will help thanks!

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Jennifer - posted on 06/12/2011

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Sounds like something similar that some people including myself refer to it as, but we call it "Whinese."

Schyla - posted on 06/12/2011

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My husband actually came up with a brilliant way to deal with whining. When our girls 3 and 5 whine (we know they have to vocabulary to tell us just sometimes aren't quite sure how) he will say calmly I'm sorry I don't speak Whinnybrat can you please use your big girl words and then he will wait till they use them. Even if they simply say I want that IF they say it without whining he'll respond if they know what that is he will ask them to please use the word for it and if they don't know he'll supply the word and make them repeat it. It's amazing I now do the same thing and I use it on my nieces and nephews as well. We started when our youngest girl was about 2 and half and she is really good about not whining.

Jennifer - posted on 06/12/2011

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Man it's been so long since my older daughter (going to be 6 in Oct.) was that age lol I'm having a hard time remembering what I did. I know I wouldn't give her what she wanted or even try to figure out what she wanted if she was whining. And by 2.5 I'm quite sure there's not much that he could possibly want that he couldn't say. My older daughter at that age was very quiet but could understand tons more than what she would say. She often didn't say more than she needed to and would observe others doing things before she tried them herself. She would tell me when she wanted juice, was hungry, or even when she wanted to watch something, and needed to go to the bathroom.
Now I have a nearly 21 month old and if she's crying, say, about the juice that I have for her in my hands and I won't give it to her at first (this just happened earlier today) and she starts crying about it, I look at her and sternly tell her, "Stop crying." Then I prompt her with the sentence,"Please..(please)..May..(may)..I..(I)..Have..(JUICE!)..HAVE..(have juice!)." I hand it to her and if she doesn't say it right away I still hold onto it after she's grabbed it and ask her, "What do you say?" she says, "thank you." In the middle of the night if she wakes up wanting a drink or something and is crying about it I sometimes tell her, "Stop crying, tell mommy what you want." In most cases she stops and says, "Juice." Then I give her water lol.
I know whining is annoying....sometimes I would whine back at my older daughter lol, like, "You see how annoying this is?"....but usually I would either wait until the whining stopped or tell her, "DON'T WHINE. How do you ASK?" And then she would change it to a, "Please may I have" question form lol. Eventually I had to teach her variations of it, such as, say, "Please help me" since she'd try to use that for every single thing she was asking for.
Maybe teach him how to use those words to express himself. When you know he is thirsty or hungry and find out that that's what he wants, repeat what you would want him to say to you when he wants it and say it EVERY time you give it to him.

Jeneva - posted on 06/11/2011

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Sounds like a normal 2.5 year old to me. They know much more than they know how to communicate regardless of vocabulary. Especially when it comes to emotions. If my kids have a hard time and start whining I tell them once they are able to talk like big kids and tell or show me what the problem is, I won't be able to help them. I don't understand whining. I encourage them to take deep breaths and yes, we play the guessing game. Sometimes they can show me and I tell them the word(s) and we talk about the feelings involved. Sometimes I have to guess the feelings. But I only do so once the whining/crying has ended.

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