29 Jul
How To Get Your Kids To Stop Whiiiiinnnninnnngggg

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

My 3-year-old is the whiniest child I have ever met! It began almost a year ago when my son was born. She whines when he touches her toys, or his own toys, or a cup, or her! And then in the same whiny voice she has to give us a play by play of everything my son does throughout the day, “He’s touching the TV!”   “He’s eating a Cheerio!” Please tell me this stage will end soon and what I can do to help this attitude out the door?

Thanks ladies,

Whiny Wanda


Dear Whiny Wanda,

I was immediately drawn to your question because, truth be told, it really sounds like my life. You see, I, too, have been accused of constantly whining. I whine when my kids touch their toys, I whine when my husband touches the TV and I really, really whine whenever someone touches a freakin’ Cheerio. Seriously, it doesn’t matter if it’s Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio or Merlot—I can’t go too long without whining or I get tremendously sad.

Wait—I just noticed your whining has an “h” in it, whereas my wining has a cork in it. Nevermind.

As every parent knows, whining can be maddening. And far greater childhood experts than I have tried to solve this problem and failed miserably. Every single one of them. Well, except for that doctor who advised mothers to blast lime Jell-O into a kid’s face every time he whines, but I think he later got blackballed by the AAP for being too radical and now he trains three-legged dogs in Cupertino. Not sure.

Anyway, it’s no coincidence that your daughter’s whining reached a fever pitch when Baby #2 came along. She had you just where she wanted you, then suddenly Mr. Cute Butt came along and she now has to compete with a younger, needier model for your attention. Experts call this the “Playboy Mansion phenomenon.” (Look it up if you don’t believe me.)

The number one thing that’ll make the whining go away is, of course, maturity, but in the meantime, you can try a few of these tricks:

— Tell her your ears don’t hear whining and ignore her until she speaks in a regular voice

— Talk to HER in a whining voice so she hears how ridiculous it sounds (husbands love this, too)

— Give her more responsibility or things that only “a big girl” can do to make her feel more special

— Buy ear plugs

Those tricks worked for me, for the most part, so give them a try. Of course, nothing will ever get a kid to completely stop acting like that. As my two boys have shown me over the past 10 years, whining to your parents is just a part of being a kid.

And that’s exactly why I do a little wining myself.

Good luck,

Wendi, TMH



12 Responses to “How To Get Your Kids To Stop Whiiiiinnnninnnngggg”


Comment by From Belgium.

I find that whining back helps best, at least it keeps me from turning to the wine for relief, sometimes…


Comment by natecammom.

Have you tried Duct Tape???


Comment by StephanieG.

I always start by using my best whiney voice to ask “why are you whiiiiiniinnnnng?” Then I let my daughter know that if she wants my attention, she must use her big girl voice. Once she stops the whining, I make every effort to give her 100% of my attention to reward her proper behavior.

As for the tattling? I just say “thanks for letting me know.” Shuts her right down…..


Comment by Plano Mom.

Three words, deceptively simple ones:

Do not respond.

When you can do that, let me know where you live so I can come worship you.


Comment by Emily.

from everything I’ve read about how to deal with toddler sibling rivalry, they say you should make sure your older child knows when they’re coming first. Surely, over the last year, your daughter has heard you say (many times), ‘wait, I have to do this for the baby’. Make sure you’re voicing the same thing the other way. Such as ‘wait, brother, I need to help daughter with this’ so that she sees that her needs come first sometimes as well.

discipline or trying to make her ‘the big kid’ can backfire into making her want more attention and/or regress so that she’s not ‘the big kid’.

ignore when necessary and show her that she’s first sometimes when you’re able.


Comment by erin@mommyonthespot.

“Playboy Mansion phenomenon” – awesome!

I agree with Plano Mom. I’ll just add deep yoga breathing to tune it all out.


Comment by Cate8.

As my kids(8 of ’em) got older the tattling increased… so I just reply “If I didn’t see it, it didn’t happen.” they hate it.
I have a large 2 foot wide sign in my kitchen that says ‘No Whining’ not that it works but if it gets too bad I just say “No Whine bags allowed” they get pissy and walk away. (Score!!)


Comment by Lisa.

Why on earth would a child stop whining if it works? Stop making it work, stop giving her attention when she does it. It is like watering weeds and wondering why they are taking over your yard.

Ignore her when she whines. Get up and walk out of the room if that is what you need to do.


Comment by GrandeMocha.

I just pretend I can’t understand the whining. I just keep saying, “What? I didn’t understand.” Until he says it normal voice.


Comment by Desperate Dietwives.

Besides the excellent advice posted above, I would advise you to organise something special for you and her only, a “big girl thing”. It might be going out together to MacDonald’s or going to the cinema with her, while someone else takes care of the younger brother. Also involve her in the care of her brother: “Please honey, mum needs her big girl’s help: could you please fetch me his diaper? He pooped again!”. Make her feel important for you AND for her brother. Now I come to think of it, the treat (going out with you) might come if she helps you out with her brother WITHOUT whining.

Good luck! 🙂


Comment by Melody M.

First of all- is that jello thing real? I’m compulsed to look that up, because it is horribly funny (in a ridiculous, whaaaat?! kinda way).
Second, I only have the one three year old so far, and she whines enough to get drunk (haha, I couldn’t help myself). If it’s not whining, it’s why why why and thongs like that because she has no one to tattle on.
So yes, please, tell me it gets better, because I’m hoping for relative sanity next year, as we plan to finally try for a sibling for her to hone her tattling skills on.


Comment by Whatever Happened To Baby Jane's Voice? | The Mouthy Housewives.

[…] I have to tell you that you’ve got to nip that in the baby bud. Because after surviving the whining, we need a […]

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