Toddler Whining?

My child’s whining is starting to drive me crazy! How can I handle it?
profile picture of Jeanette Sawyer Cohen, PhD, clinical assistant professor of psychology in pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City
ByJeanette Sawyer Cohen, PhD, clinical assistant professor of psychology in pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City
Pediatric Psychologist
Updated
Mar 2017
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Consider whining just another form of toddler communication. After all, even
a highly verbal two-year-old doesn’t have access to all the words and phrases that you do. If he’s feeling frustrated, angry, sad or simply overwhelmed in the moment, your child may rely on some heavy-duty whining to get his point across.

Whining usually gets worse when a kid is  hungry or tired, so don’t plan anything demanding (like a play date or trip to Home Depot) close to  naptime or for when he hasn’t eaten in a while. Schedule play dates after he has napped and had a snack, and don’t expect a complaint-free shopping excursion in the late afternoon. The whining will pass as he continues to develop more verbal skills—at least until he’s a teenager!

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