Whining in Children (Age Group – 3 to 6 Years) & Tips to Stop It

Whining in Children

Parents face many behavioural issues with their kids and whining is one of the biggest issues that most parents experience. The constant whining of a child can not only be extremely irritating, but it can also become very difficult for the parents to manage. Why do children develop this kind of behaviour problems and is there something that you as a parent can do to modify your child’s habit? Learn more about this topic in detail in the following article.

Why Do Children Whine?

‘’Mommy I want this’’, Daddy I want to go there’’, ‘’pretty please’’ and many more such phases may be doing their rounds all through the day. Well, it is an innate quality of children, where some may do it sparingly others may have mastered the art. If you can’t think of why your kid whines all the time, the good news is, you are not the only one sailing on this boat. There can be many reasons that can make your child whine and cry constantly. However, here we shall be discussing some of the common reasons:

1. The Child Lacks Proper Communication Skills

Can you ever imagine a life where you are not able to vocalize your feelings such as happiness, sadness, frustration, etc? It can seem frustrating and difficult and that is what a young child feels, especially at an age where he has not mastered the art of communication.

2. The Child Lacks Control

Sometimes children feel helpless or powerless when they lack or have no control over random day to day stuff. This makes them extremely uneasy and fussy and can give birth to whiny behaviour. They struggle to take control, but their inability may worsen the situation.

3. The Child Feels Overwhelmed

Unlike adults, young children are not good at handling stress. The normal school routine or doing certain things at home may make them feel overwhelmed. Inability to tackle everyday situations can make a child whiny.

4. Lacking Emotional Regulation

Where the frontal cortex of the human brain is fully developed in adults, it is not so in younger children, thus making them act or behave in a dramatic manner. This kind of childish behaviour is a result of the immature development of the brain, which is why when an adult whines or acts a certain way we call it childish behaviour.

5. When A Child Feels Unheard

One of the most common reasons for behavioural regression in children is due to the feeling of not being heard by their parents, teachers, caregivers or by anyone who is directly dealing with the child. Whenever the child tries to grab your attention by whining, make sure you listen or else it may worsen the situation.

6. When A Child Is Overtired

If a child gets tired by playing, studying or being up late at night, he may find refuge in whining. We try to keep our emotions under control during such times but kids are not always able to do so. Thus, they whine.

A baby boy whining

Tips to Deal with a Whiny Child

Under most situations, your child may stop whining when he becomes more sensible, aware and mature or in short words, as soon as he reaches adulthood. This clearly means that whining subsides with time, but many of us may have come across a whiny adult too at least once in our lives. Nevertheless, you can follow some simple tips to reduce whining or get your child to stop whining by following these tips:

1. Be A Good Listener

If you have a fractured connect with your child, make sure you heal it before it is too late. Lending an ear to your child and listening to whatever he is trying to put across can help deal with the whining issues. What is minuscule or trivial for you may be of grave importance to your child.

2. Find Out The Triggers

You need to establish what causes such behaviour in your child. Is extreme tiredness, lethargy, hunger or emotional outburst the culprit? Once you know the cause, you can make some amends or adjustments and help your kid deal with the issues in a better manner.

3. Let Your Kid Know That It Is Not Acceptable

If something is unacceptable, you have to make your child understand the same and this rule applies to his whining too. You should not give in to your child’s demands when he is whining and this will help him understand that his tantrums cannot be used for meeting his requirements.

4. Do Not React to Your Kid’s Whining

Once your child realizes that his behaviour gets to your nerves, you may find him using it as an excuse to meet up all his demands. In other words, your kid is wise enough to understand the concept of blackmailing. However, do not ignore your child, listen to him but do not agree to his demands until he stops whining.

5. Be Firm and Consistent

Once the ground rules are laid regarding the non-acceptance of whining, do not give in to your child’s demands thinking that it is okay to do so occasionally. The fact is, it is not okay and it will never be okay. If you have made a rule, stick by it.

A mother soothing her son

6. Reward Nice Behaviour

Make sure whenever your child exhibits good or less whiny behaviour, you listen to your kid and appreciate him for being nice. Also, you can help your child learn how to behave nicely and what words or phrases to use in order to be heard. It can sometimes become a child’s nature to whine all the time, without him even realizing it.

7. Change Your Tone

If your child’s whining is something that is unacceptable to you, express that through your tone. Here we are not suggesting that you should scold your child, but you can increase your volume a few notches higher than usual. The aim is not to scare your kid to make him understand that his behaviour is not acceptable.

8. Try Distracting Your Kid

Sometimes when a child gets stuck on something, the best you can do is try distracting him. You can talk to your child about absolutely random things which can make him forget about the thing he had been crying about. Though it may work in most of the cases, you may have to exercise your discretion in this.

9. Be A Role Model

Sometimes parents are not aware that they may be whining too and this leads to the same behaviour in kids. Make sure you stay positive and happy around your kids without sulking or complaining about day to day issues. Your kid tries to emulate what he observes, therefore, be a good role model.

10. Pay Heed to Your Child’s Sleep

Sleep deprivation or lack of sleep is one of the main reasons that can turn your happy child into a whiny child. Ensure that your child goes to bed on time and sleeps well at night. Taking care of your child’s sleep may help keep this problem at bay.

We hope that you make use of these child whining advice tips and help your kid overcome this behaviour problem.

Common Child Whining Wind-Ups and How Parents Can Avoid It

Here are some ways of avoiding whining scenarios:

1. On The Road

Children often get restless and bored on the road trips. Boredom can make them reckless, irritable and may lead to sulking too. An excellent way of handling such situations is to be ready for it and in this case you can be prepared by keeping some games, toys or other equipment handy in order to keep your child entertained. The long car journey with your 5-year-old whining child may no longer remain a nightmare if you follow this simple rule of keeping your child engrossed in some interesting activity.

2. Setting A Bedtime Routine

Some children resist going to bed and may fuss whenever they are required to go to bed. This is because sleeping can be very boring for kids and this resistance for sleep can cause fatigue and tiredness which in turn leads to whining. In order to avoid this situation, you can set a bedtime routine for your kid, which can include bedtime reading, bedtime stories or other such practices.

3. Handling The Shopping Situation

In order to save yourself from your 3-year-old kid’s whining and tantrums during the shopping sessions, you should make sure that your child is well-fed and not tired. Also, when you are engrossed in the shopping, make sure that your kid occupied. You can ask him to fetch a few items for you, for example, tell him to fetch you vegetables or fruits on your trip to the supermarket.

Kids’ behavioural issues are not that difficult to handle or manage. With proper guidance and understanding, you may be able to help your kid overcome his whining issues.

Also Read:

Tips to Handle An Emotionally Disturbed Child
Coping with Attention Seeking Behaviour in Children
Building Self Esteem and Confidence in Kids