How to Stop Kids from Whining So They Don’t Drive You Crazy

Whining Kids

One if my kids is a whiny child. I know where he gets it from. I was a whining child too, just ask my mom! But it doesn’t have to be this way. If you want to know how to stop kids from whining you’ve come to the right spot. I’ve tried and tested enough ideas to stop my son whining and when it does re-surface I know how to deal with it now.

Previously I was tearing my hair how not knowing what to do. He would drive me crazy with the whiny voice going on and on. As a mom, you have enough to deal with, you don’t need a whining child on top of everything else. Here’s the info you need…

You know what it’s like. When your child starts to whine, a simple trip to the grocery store can turn into a huge ordeal. You want to get home quickly to make dinner, but now you’re falling behind schedule. You try to remain patient, but those constant wails frazzle your nerves.

You first instinct may not be the best solution. While it may be tempting to lose your temper or give in to your child’s pleas, there are more constructive alternatives. Once you learn what they are it will make your life easier with a whining toddler or child.

First, learn how to deal with whining and prevent it before it starts.

What to Do When Your Child Whines:

1. Stay calm (I know this is easier said than done)

Your child will pick up on your mood so ensure you’re doing what you can to reduce stress levels for both of you.

When you hear that whining, take a long, deep breath and smile (just a little bit). Speak softly and clearly. Communicate your message really clearly.

My first reaction was always exasperation. The pitch of my voice would rise every time I had to dealing with whining. And I would get angry because I usually felt like I didn’t have time to deal with it. I would raise my voice as well when you’d hear me say “Why can’t you just stop it! This is driving me crazy!” You actually need to stop yourself before you say these sorts of things and try to deal with it in a calm manner.

2. Stand fast (this goes against your instincts)

Giving your child what they ask for is the quickest way to stop their whining in the short term. I know, because I used to always give in to what my son wanted.

But that approach will backfire in the long run. You’re actually encouraging the bad behavior. That’s because you’re training them to believe that whining works.

Instead, hold your ground. Otherwise the whining will escalate and you feel like it’s out of control. You need to use techniques instead of giving in to what your kid wants.

3. Suggest an alternative behavior

If you want to learn how to stop kids from whining, this is really important.

Let your child know that it’s okay to ask for what they want in a courteous manner. Whiny children seem to forget how to ask for something without whining.

I had to remind my son to use a normal voice to ask for something instead of that typical whining voice that he was using so often.

It was almost as if he’d forgotten how to speak to me in a normal way without whining. It had become a habit. Role play with your child so they can understand the difference between an annoying whiny voice and a pleasant one.

When I role played this with my son, he laughed. He understood straight away what I was talking about. It really helped him to switch off the whine and return to making a normal courteous request for things.

Of course, I did remind him that he won’t always get everything he asks for. It’s important to be clear about this. Even mentioning this concept was helpful because it highlighted that the whining won’t achieve what he wants. So, the message was, whine and you won’t get what you want or asking politely and you might get it.

4. Offer positive reinforcement

Praise your child when they behave well. I previously took a parenting course online and it said to praise children even for little things that they should be doing anyway. I wasn’t doing this.

If I asked my eldest son to help me carry something to the car it seemed like it was just something we should all do, to go out together as a family. It was the same if one of the kids dropped clothing on the floor. If they had put it there I expected them to pick it up when I asked them. Why would they need praise for such little things?

But once I heard this concept, I started using it. Every time my kids do something, even the smallest thing, I praise them for doing it. I don’t go over the top with praise and they don’t get money for doing everyday chores. I just acknowledge what they’ve done. It’s really working well for our family.

When you want to know how to get kids to stop whining, use positive reinforcement. Not only can you praise them for their actions but with whining you can praise them for expressing themselves properly.

Applaud their efforts to put their their feelings into words and seek mutually satisfactory solutions. I gave my son time to talk to me one-on-one looking me in the eyes without the distraction of other people around. I praised him for using his words in a meaningful way. This helped him to realize he needed to express himself better. It helped break the whining habit.

5. Lighten up when you’re in public

You may feel like there’s a spotlight shining on you when your child has a meltdown in the school parking lot. We’ve all had those moments out in a public place.

In reality, most parents know that it’s natural for kids to whine, and you may have more sympathy and support than you realize.

Try to remain calm and not take out your frustration on your child. Even though your child may be putting you in an embarrassing situation you need to focus on the best solution for you and your child and not worry about what other people think.

Your child will notice whether you’re paying attention to them or not. They will also notice whether your reaction is one of stress. Try to stay calm whether the whining occurs at home or out and about.

6. Rule out medical causes

Sickness can make a kid whiny. While most whining is harmless, it could sometimes be a sign that your child is under the weather.

If they seem more irritable or fidgety than usual, check for health issues first. Ask your doctor for a check up and tell the doctor what your specific concerns are.

How to Prevent Your Child From Whining:

1. Nurture your connection

Your child’s grumbling is often a way of seeking more of your attention. If you want to know how to stop kids whining, make it a top priority to spend significant family time and one-on-one time together on a daily basis.

I used to notice that when our family gets busy, the whining would get worse. When we let the days and weeks get busy without the balance of family time, I’m at screaming point with the whining.

By making an effort to increase your family time when you can, it will be easier on those days when you are so busy that you really can’t fit anything more into your day.

2. Learn and play the right way

Adequate stimulation will also reduce whining. Share fun and enriching activities with your child like reading books and playing outdoor games. Board games and card games can provide stimulation as well as family time together.

Another idea when you’re trying to learn how to stop kids from whining is to buy a family membership at a local science museum or community pool. This means everyone is out of the house and doing something together whether it be exercise or enriching the mind.

3. Enforce bedtimes

If you want to know how to stop kids from whining this is probably the most important tip.

Many modern children are sleep-deprived. Try moving bedtimes back an hour and stick to a consistent schedule even on weekends.

My kids have always struggled with bed times. Because *I* have struggled with bed times.

For some unknown reason I always slow down at the wrong time of the evening. Of course, we all slow down, but I should be relaxing after the kids are in bed, not before. In school holidays my kids always lose their routine completely. We struggle to all get enough sleep without sleeping in.

Once my children are getting to bed late I always see a big improvement when I move bedtime 1 hour earlier. I don’t know why I ever let the routine slip. But honestly, if you want to know how to stop kids from whining, try an earlier bedtime because it often works like a miracle.

4. Encourage healthy eating

A nutritious diet will give your child more energy and help to stabilize their blood sugar. Plan balanced meals and healthy snacks, including plenty of fruits and vegetables.

I give my kids 5 meals every day. They can have a treat at the end of a meal as long as they eat the nutritious food first. We’ve always done this and it works well for us.

If you think your child’s diet is lacking, it may be contributing to the whining. When my son has low blood sugar levels he is definitely more whiny. I can now recognize it. It often happens if we’re away from home and he misses a meal.

I’m not a nutritionist but I do try to keep my kids meals balanced with some carbs and some protein. We include fruit, dairy, vegetables, meat etc as well as small treats of chocolate. I also make sure my children drink water with every meal. If we go out to the park or to a shopping mall I always take their water bottles with us.

To learn how to stop kids whining, try speaking to a nutritionist or doing your own research. A few changes to you child’s diet could really help.

5. Take breaks

When you’re learning how to stop kids from whining, sleep is the number one factor, but taking breaks is also important.

If your child is acting up, you may have exceeded their attention span. This is especially important for younger kids. If you have a toddler, the whining will be unbearable when they’re getting tired.

Switch activities or give them a little quiet time to refresh and recharge.

When my kids were toddlers they never wanted to stop. If I made one of them take a rest they wouldn’t do it because they knew there were other people not taking a rest in the house. When we were at home I would simply turn off all noise, close the curtains and “shut the house down”. Even if they didn’t sleep this let my children have the quiet time they needed to have a drink of milk and then lie down and rest.

I definitely noticed a difference when my kids were well rested. The whining was less frequent.

6. How to stop kids from whining by avoiding other triggers

In addition to the events that most children find to be a little stressful, your child may have their own personal triggers. Pay attention to when they whine to see if it may be related to something going on at school or at home.

One year when my eldest son was at school his teacher was away for several months due to an injury she sustained in a car accident. He had temporary teachers coming and going every few weeks. This was disruptive in the classroom and my eldest son who isn’t usually whiny started whining at home. He was bored at school because he wasn’t engaged. The disruption at school was too much of a distraction to his learning and he was bored and a bit “lost”.

If you want to find out how to stop kids from whining, look for the cause. If you can identify a change in something in their normal everyday routine, it’s probably the reason for the whining.

And if you return to work, I noticed this is a big trigger. Your child will be missing you and may feel stressed by the change. If you return to work after being a stay at home mom and you think you’re stressed out, your whining child is probably even more stressed, feeling like they need more of your attention.

Try and find a balance to give your child one-on-one attention so they still feel like you’re there for them, even if the hours per day are fewer.

7. Be a positive role model

Your child will be less likely to whine if you avoid excessive complaining too. To learn how to stop kids from whining, be a positive role model. Monitor your conversations to ensure that you’re setting the kind of example you want them to follow.

As I mentioned above, I was a whiny child. It probably means I’m prone to whining at times as an adult too! If you find yourself complaining a lot, try some of the tips above for yourself. Eat healthy food, get more sleep and try to spend quality family time together.

How to Stop Kids from Whining – the Smart Tips You Need

If you only take away a couple of tips from this article, I think they’ll help. These are my favorites:

  • give your child the attention they need
  • teach your child to replace the whining with a more effective communication style
  • move bedtime an hour earlier
  • eat regular nutritious meals
  • look out for personal triggers

If you can follow these tips you’ll enjoy your time together more. And you’ll know how to stop kids from whining before they even start. And, most importantly, you’ll prepare your child to interact politely and respectfully with others as they grow older. Start early to eradicate the whining and you’ll see great results for the rest of their lives.


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