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Stop the Whining: 3 Ways to Help Your Child Break the Habit

A child’s whining can be one of the toughest things for a parent to deal with. Kids recognize it as a good attention-grabbing tactic because oftentimes, it works. And for many kids, whining is what they resort to once they’ve grown out of throwing a tantrum. Want to know how to get your kids to stop whining? We have three tips that can help:

Upset young child, mother in background

1. Refuse to Respond

By not responding to your child’s whining, he will learn that it is not an acceptable form of communication. Explain to him that as long as he whines when speaking to you, you won’t be providing him with a response. Once he starts, remind him that if he wants you to listen, he’ll need to use a more appropriate voice so the two of you can have a conversation. Be patient and stand your ground – the more you give in to the whining, the more likely it will become a habit.

Parents and young child eating food at a table with coffee cups on it

2. Use Positive Reinforcement

It’s easy to hand down a punishment when whining occurs; however, children tend to respond better to positive reinforcement. Instead of waiting for your child to start whining so he can be disciplined, give him praise when he uses the right tone of voice while speaking to you about something that he wants. Show your appreciation when he is being polite and remind him that it is the appropriate way to speak to you.

Woman talking to an upset looking child while sitting on a couch

3. Check for Underlying Causes

Are you finding that your child is whining more than normal and is struggling to break the habit? If so, do some investigating to see if there is another issue causing him to act out. Whether its stressors at school or a change in routine at home, identifying what’s leading to this behavior can help you make adjustments and address the root of the problem head on. Don’t be afraid to ask your child to share how he’s been feeling. Be empathetic and find a solution together.

Looking for more parenting help? Check out our OhioHealth Blog articles – just for kids.


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