It doesn't matter if you are a parent yourself or not, a whining toddler will drive anyone insane. Even the best-behaved child tries to whine their way out of things or to get things they want. Then you must want to know how to handle this behavior so it doesn't progress into an everyday occurrence that children use to manipulate parents like you. Well, this article will give you some effective tips to help put a stop to this irritating behavior.

How to Stop Whining in Toddlers


Be firm yet calm

Kids will do just about anything to get attention and a number of those things may not be the best behavior. From screaming to hitting or biting, they are looking for a reaction from mom or dad even if this reaction is countered with more yelling, screaming or punishment. You want to do your best to avoid giving them a negative reaction as this will just encourage the bad behavior even more for most children.

Rather than meet your child's bad behavior with yelling and criticism, verbalize the behavior you expect them to have. Saying things like “Ask nicely” “Hitting hurts, we should keep our hands and feet to ourselves.” will better correct the behavior. You want to be firm but you don't want to be too authoritative and reprimanding as this can teach your child that this is an acceptable way to express your anger emotions.

Your child will test the boundaries with this approach but you should stay consistent. When your child persists with the unacceptable behavior, simply state that you will listen to them when they have calmed down and want to use an acceptable tone to talk to you. Physically turning your back from the whining behavior will also let your child know that you will not tolerate or give attention to their behavior.


Give praises but consistent with punishment

You don't want to threaten your child with a punishment without following through on it. How to stop whining in toddlers will take patience but if you tell them that speaking to you or acting in a certain way will result in a timeout, then the next time they behave in that way, you need to follow through with the time out. Even though it may not be convenient when he acts in that way, you need to stay consistent with the punishment.

While timeouts can be a good way to address the bad behavior, you want to encourage the good behavior as well. Giving praise and attention to the good behavior will result in your child learning that this good behavior is giving him the attention that the bad behavior is not.


Anticipate the whining

Most often children will whine as a way to tell you something that has nothing to do with why they are whining. Some things that could actually be wrong with your child is that they are bored, overstimulated, hungry or even scared. Keeping track of your child’s behavior will allow you to better anticipate when there can be whining involved. This will allow you to better prepare for and avoid this behavior. Take note of what is surrounding the whining behavior so that you can know when they will need a snack or need to get outside to run off some built up energy.


Sleep schedule

When your child isn't getting enough sleep or when they are feeling tired, there is more chance that they will whine. Not every child is the same and some may need more sleep than others. It is important to look at your child's sleep schedule to ensure that they are getting enough sleep and that this schedule is consistent.

How to stop whining in toddlers can often be achieved when the child is getting the appropriate amount of sleep. Keep in mind that this may not be the most convenient for your schedule, but if you want to hear less of the whining, you may have to adjust your own schedule so your child can get the sleep they need.


Avoid sugars

Sugars can often bring on undesirable behavior in children. Sugars are hidden in a number of foods and drinks and you might just be giving your child an excessive amount. It is a good idea to keep track of your child’s diet and be more aware of how much sugar is contained in the foods and drinks you give them. Simply cutting out or at least cutting some on your child’s sugar intake can greatly improve their behavior.



It is not uncommon for children to obviously whine to get their way and when you better understand that your child may need more warning to prepare for a change in activity, the less likely they may be to whine about the change. It is OK to compromise with your child to avoid a meltdown such as agreeing to let them play for five more minutes at the park. This will teach them that you are willing to give them a little more of what they want without having to whine or misbehave for it.

Knowing how to compromise and have a plan in place to avoid the whining just takes a little bit of practice and trial and error. Consider these common whine inducing situations and how to handle them.

  • In the grocery store. Be sure to feed your child before you go to the grocery store and have a small snack on hand while you are at the store. Allow them to help you out with the shopping to keep them occupied.

  • Car rides. How to stop whining in toddlers when you are in the car? Bring games, snacks, play their favorite songs to help your child stay entertained in the car instead of whining about how bored they are.

  • Bedtime. Stick with a consistent bedtime routine to avoid resistance and meltdowns. Read them a story and try to get the whole family involved in the routine in some way.


Learn from Other Mother's Experiences

We struggled with whining because our son could not always find the words to tell us what he actually wants. We would remind him to stay calm and show us what he wanted so we could understand him. - Carol

We have used distraction as a way to whining. As soon as we see our daughter starting to misbehavior or get worked up, we will sing a song or start to dance. - Alexis

We have dedicated a spot in our home for whining. When our children begin to whine about anything, we tell them to go to the whining chair or corner and to talk to us when they have finished. It has worked wonders and usually, they calm down instantly. - Debra

We took the imitation approach to our sons whining. Every time he starts to whine, we mimic what we think he sounds like but with more exaggeration. Usually, this gets him laughing and the whining just stops. - Jody

We started recording our daughter's behavior. She is not a fan of having her video taken and is even less of a fan of having to watch the video later to discuss her behavior. We make it a point to watch the video and discuss what she could have done instead and this seems to be working well. - Jamie


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