{Raising Tots} How to Win the Battle of the Whining Toddler

Raising Toddlers Whining

This week on {Raising Tots} I have the honor of welcoming Kylie from Octavia and Vicky. I think being a parent to a toddler, we are all familiar with whining. Below, Kylie shares her awesome tips for eliminating whining in toddlers.


Just recently our toddler’s mood seems to be set on ‘Default = Whine’. To be clear, I’m not talking about whining because she is tired, or hungry, or frustrated. I’m talking about whining for the sake of whining. At first I wondered if it was just me and my big pregnant self that wasn’t coping as well as usual. Then my husband made a comment about it and I knew I wasn’t imagining things. Here are some ideas that we’ve been trying to flick that ‘Whine’ button off.

1. Don’t Give In!

Don’t reward the whine. If your child whines, and your response is to give in to whatever they are whining for, then you are training your child to win the gold medal for whining. Yes, you’re tired. Yes, you are really, really sick of whining. But. Don’t. Give. In.

2. Teach Your Child About Whining

Show your child what whining is by modelling for them. For example, if your child whines ask them to stop and say, “please don’t use your whiny voice, use your regular voice” and model it for them. Yes, whine! Show them what whining looks and sounds like, then show them what using a regular voice looks and sounds like.

3. Teach Your Child to Communicate

Remind them that you do want to help them, but you can’t help them while they are whining. Remind your child that you can’t understand what they are saying while they are whining, ask them to use their words, or show you what they need.

4. Stay Consistent

Don’t be tough on whining one minute, then give in the next. It is very confusing and will lead to… yes… more whining.

5. Whine Avoidance

Toddlers can be very particular about their needs, and will whine loudly when things aren’t just right (or is that just my toddler?!). Check in before acting, to avoid the dreaded whine. Let your toddler take control of as much as possible. For example, if they invite you to play ask how they want you to play – Which piece of the puzzle should you start with? Which costume might you wear? What colour marker could you use?

5. Catch the Good

When your toddler asks for something in their ‘regular’ voice, respond straight away. You don’t need to make a big song and dance about it. Simply say “thank you for asking nicely”.

6. Are you a whiner?

Check yourself! Do you nag or whine at your toddler? Try to keep on top of your own whining and show them the best way to communicate.

7. You Are the Adult

Stay calm. Remind yourself that YOU are the adult in this situation. They are young children, learning how to behave in this crazy world. They need your help to learn. Nobody is perfect, we all lose our cool from time to time. If that happens, acknowledge it and apologise. Remind your toddler that you will always love them, it’s just their behaviour that you don’t appreciate.

8. Laugh

If all else fails, make a joke, have a laugh, diffuse the situation with a giggle or some silliness. It will help you and your toddler relax and make all the world’s problems seem a little bit smaller.

Are you battling the whine at your place?


Thank you Kylie from Octavia and Vicky for these wonderful tips! I know I will be using them. Be sure to check out Kylie’s blog and you can also find Octavia and Vicky on Facebook HERE. As always, head over to the {Raising Tots} page for great tips, advice, and activities for toddlers!

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    • Brittany says

      I agree, giving positive reinforcement can be just as good, or better, than just relying on negative reinforcement. Thanks for stopping by!

  1. says

    Been dealing with the whine at my house for a while. :) Thanks for some good tips. Some I have tried, some I haven’t. Always more to learn when it comes to this parenting thing. :)



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