Why Toddlers Whine

My son’s new thing is whining, which I find very annoying. I want to understand why he is doing this and I’m trying very hard not to lose my patience with him. It is the constant sound of the whining that bothers me.

While explaining this to my mother, she asked me how I could handle the tantrums he throws and not the whining. I answered that whining means he isn’t mad enough or upset enough to throw a tantrum, but he can’t just be okay with whatever is going on.

I know this isn’t the scientific version of whining but, as a mom, I simply don’t understand why he can’t just say what he wants or accept the answer that is given to him without whining about it.

In an effort to understand what is going on with my toddler, I have done some research. I’ve discovered that the official definition of whining is “to utter a plaintive, high-pitched, protracted sound, as in pain, fear, supplication, or complaint.”

I contemplated the dictionary’s definition. My son wasn’t in pain or fearing anything during these sessions of whining. It seems he is using whining as a complaint. Personally, I would rather he just sit there and complain using words than to whine.

I know that whining can become a habit. Since it just started with my son, I’m trying to break him of it before it really becomes a habit. Otherwise, I’m going to be a basket case if I have to keep listening to it for the next few years.

From what I’ve learned from research, reading and asking others, it seems that I need to call my son’s attention to the fact that he is whining. I’ve read suggestions such as ignoring him when he is whining and explaining to him why I am ignoring him. That doesn’t seem to work with my son. He keeps whining.

His “nana” has tried the tactic of whining back. Using a whiny voice, she whines back to him to show him how annoying it is. Sometimes this works. He does seem to stop for a little while when she does this.

I’ve tried explaining to my son that I don’t like to hear him whine. I’ve asked him to use his regular voice and tell me what he is saying or what he wants. This works at times but seems to have inconsistent results.

I haven’t discovered the best method of dealing with my son’s whining, but I am trying to deal with it. I know that it frustrates me, so I try not to let it show that it bothers me. I try to talk to him and get him to talk to me about what he is feeling. Sometimes this helps because he is whining about not getting what he wants.

How do you deal with a whiny toddler?

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