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What To Do If Your Child Whines All The Time

by | Parenting

Jun 7, 2021

Children use whining to express their feelings, including sadness and disappointment. whining is a way of capturing parents’ interest and attention almost immediately. When done in moderation, parents can relate and adjust. But kids whining all the time can quickly turn into a nightmare. It can be distracting and very unproductive, leading to stress and emotional discomfort. Here is what to do if your child whines all the time. 

1. Remain calm and in control

Kids whine to get attention from you even when they don’t need it. Most parents will lose their cool, and that might make matters worse. To win this game, you need to use the right strategy.

Keeping calm and relaxed is the approach that wins. Your child plans to make you uncomfortable so you can attend to their needs. Losing your temper makes them feel they’re and have gotten your attention.

By remaining calm, it shows that you’re in control. Teach the child to ask for what they need in a polite way. 

Many parents can’t stand whining, so they give in. Resist the urge to give in too fast. Stand your ground and force them to see things from a better perspective. They may later get what they want, but through a strategy, you thought them. Not by making annoying whining sounds and misbehaving. 

When the kids learn they can’t get what they want with whining, they begin to adjust. You may also need to establish a household rule about whining. Enforce the law and make sure you reward them when they adhere. 

2. Teach them how to stop whining

If you’re worried about what to do if your child whines all the time, you’re not alone. Millions of parents are going through the same issues and learning ways to cope with them. The exciting thing is kids can be taught to stop or reduce whining. 

To do this, you need to spend time studying what usually causes the whining. Once you’ve figured this out then, invent something to replace it. Kids whine because they believe the mode of communication will get them what they want (1). By providing an alternative, you remove annoying strategy, and everyone lives in peace. 

Avoid making the mistake of raising your voice to silent them. It may work and seems an easier way to solve their problem. But most of the time, raising voice backfires. The child will fear you, and that could lead to low self-esteem.

So, you need to do it with caution. Use a calm and firm voice instead of raising your voice. Create an avenue for them to express themselves without being annoying. 

3. They may need quality sleep

Kids between the age of 4 months and 13 years need at least 9 to 15 hours of sleep every day. Parents need to find the best ways to help their kids sleep better and longer, depending on their age.

When children don’t have enough sleep, the result can be bad behavior. If you tried everything to stop your kid from whining and it doesn’t work, try helping them get more sleep. 

Better sleep goes beyond helping the kid to develop a good brain. It also helps them improve their behavior and mental health. Kids who get quality sleep experience less stress and anger, or mood problems.

They are more attentive and feel happier most of the time. Sometimes the reason why kids can’t sleep well is that the environment is not conducive (2). So, make sure their room is well ventilated to encourage better sleep. 

Avoid allowing kids to watch TV or look at computers and smartphones late at night. Please pay attention to what and when they eat before going to bed. 

In addition to night sleep, most kids will also need nap times in the afternoon. Help them have some quality afternoon naps but not too much, so it doesn’t affect night sleep. Study your child’s sleep pattern and work towards helping them achieve the best that they can. 

4. Stop the whining before it starts

The best way to avoid an unfavorable situation is to stop it from happening in the first place. One of the best strategies for what to do if your child whines all the time is to stop it before it happens.

To do this well, you must first study what makes your child whine. Sometimes they make those annoying sounds because they want something. Other children may need food, some resources, care, attention, or any other thing. 

When you have an idea of the reason for the whining, you can plan to control it. Once you notice they are about to start whining, provide what they want. But, this may not work for kids that want something you can’t give. 

For example, a child may start whining because you stopped them from playing outside. In this case, you might need to be more creative. Get them to take part in another activity like drawing or painting, or something else they love to do. Stopping whining before it happens might be challenging, but it can be done. 

5. Eliminates sweets

Like sleep, diet also affects the behavior of kids. The reason your kid is misbehaving may be because of too much sugar. Sugar is necessary for energy and giving them the fuel for daily activities. But when it’s taken beyond reasonable measure, it can lead to problems. 

Too many sweets in kids lead to obesity, diabetes, and high cholesterol levels. All these affect their hormones and enzymes, which in turn reflect in their behavior (3). If your child is overeating sugar and whines all the time, it’s time to change their diet. 

Make an effort to reduce the number of sweets your child consumes. Start by removing candies, fruit juice, and sweetened soft drinks from their diet. You may also reduce their consumption of processed foods that are unhealthy.

Your primary aim for cutting sweets is to put their hyperactivity under control. Less activity means reduced aggression, anger, and whining. 

6. Watch common whining wind-ups

Places like supermarkets and road trips usually cause whining triggers in kids. So track their behavior during these activities and in those places and deal with it. Adults love to shop at supermarkets and may spend a long time there. Your kid may break down at the store if you stay for too long and they are hungry. 

To avoid whining kids at a supermarket and the embracement that comes with it, feed them before you leave. You may also want to time yourself and stick to your plan to avoid issues. Another concern is long car rides. Kids don’t like staying too long inside a box where they can’t move around. 

If you’re going on a long road trip, prepare to help them overcome boredom. Bring along some games and toys they can play with. You also need to load up snacks and water in case they get hungry. 

7. Mind your whining

Kids are learning how to behave from their parents. Sometimes, the reason why they whine is that they have seen you do it. They believe if you can do it and it works for you, why not them. So parents who whine all the time in front of their kids are breeding whining machines. You need to be a role model to them and mind your whining to teach them the right way to do things. If you must whine, don’t do it in front of them. 

Whining occurs between couples when someone asking for something from the other. Adults also whine when they crave connection or want admiration from others. If your kids are always around you, teach yourself how to complain less. Avoid asking for something when you’re upset. Try using a softer tone instead of a loud voice; they’re learning from you. 

Don’t complain about everything; try to understand issues the way they are. If the whining doesn’t stop, you may need to see a therapist. You may also need to change your diet, rest more, or improve your sleep. 

8. Praise Their Progress

Parents who invest time in teaching their kids not to whine will experience progress. As the children grow older, they begin to understand why they have to respect your wishes. 

They also learn that they might be foolish, and your caution is to make their life better. When your kids improve and stop whining, identify their progress and praise them for it. The idea is to make encouraging comments that will keep them focused and not pamper them. Let the kids understand that they’ll have a better response from others when they do the right thing (4). 

Whining won’t get them anything; it’s going to make the other person unresponsive. Help kids build confidence to communicate the right way and express themselves.

9. Show the same reactions.

Whether your child’s desire is appropriate or not, they need to know that whining will not get them what they want. Instead of ignoring them or give in to their needs, you could say something like, “I don’t understand you when you talk or act like that.” Talk to me in a normal tone, and I will be happy to listen to you. Whenever the whining starts, say these words and try to be consistent.

Just as important as having the same response to the whining is a positive response when your child changes their tone of voice. If your child uses their normal voice again, react immediately and positively.

They will learn that whining doesn’t get them anywhere, instead, a good pitch does. Even so, you don’t have to give your child everything he or she asks just because they didn’t squeal in the process.

Most importantly, show empathy and understanding, “I’m sorry you can’t watch TV anymore. Now it’s time to go to sleep.

10. Know the difference between crying and screaming.

Baby whining sounds may sometimes also indicate urgency. While boredom or a minor discomfort usually begins with whining sounds before they end in screaming, high-pitched screams indicate pain. In this case, you should give your child help immediately. 

When a child develops an infection such as irritability, pain, or fever, they may yell in high pitch. If you’re not sure what the problem could be, you should seek advice from a pediatrician.


Children who whine all the time crave attention and want your favor. If you give in, they will do it again, and that won’t be pretty. Many parents are stressed because of children that whine. If your kid complains all the time, you need to learn how to make them stop and behave better. 

By Ubong

Ubong Johnson is a medic, writer, and editor whose writings explore the complexities of human interactions. He has been published on The Healing Muse, a journal by Upstate Medical University, Blood and Thunder, a journal from Oklahoma University Medical College, and other journals of humanities. Ubong lives in Lagos and is currently undergoing training as a behavioral psychologist.

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