The Definitive Guide to Stop a Toddler from Whining!

I am the mother of a 2-year old. They told me 2 would be tough – the terrible-twos – right?  I would like to rename them the terrific-twos. I’d like to, but I can’t just yet. Because, WHINING. But even this is manageable. Get excited – I’m going to let you in on a little secret – how to stop a toddler from whining.

“I don’t want to wear pantssssssssssss maaaamaaaaaay” (English accent on the mommy…who knows.)

“There’s a grain of rice of my chinnnnn……..”

“I can’t find my nooooooooose”

How to Stop a Toddler from Whining
It can be that traumatic.

My lovely little can turn seemingly innocent, pleasant words into the most hair-pulling of sounds.   Other than that, so far, I’m LOVING the 2’s. He is the best he has ever been! Sweet, polite, intellectually absorbent, kind, hilarious, generous, and so preciously affectionate. Bring it on baby!

But.the.whining.   We can do without.

How to Stop a Toddler from Whining

So I whipped out a little strategy I like to call “The Whining Seat”

It has seen an almost 100% success rate over the last month. You may want to take notes.  Here goes:

Child decides that ____ is a national catastrophe.

Child proceeds to whine.

Whining reaches the ears of a sensible person (me).

I detail reality for him in toddler-friendly language.

Whining persists.

Sensible individual calmly says “son, do you need to sit in the whining seat?” (this “seat” changes based on where we are in the moment – but is generally high off the ground so that he can’t escape without help…. Think countertop, high chair, table, dresser….etc)

Whining persists.

Son is placed on said Whining Seat.

As he is placed on the proverbial WS I explain that he can whine if he wants to, but he has to stay there until he is done. As soon as he is quiet and talking normally (or can flash a smile) he is free to go.

How to Stop a Toddler from Whining

Honestly, I don’t know why this works. But it does.

In a way, it’s a little mockery…. I stand in front of him while he does his time and gesture to “carry on…keep going….let it all out”… usually he finds that funny and bursts out laughing to end the whine. Then I clarify, “are you all done whining sweetie?”, and I get a “All done mammayyyy” (the English accent is real.). Freedom ensues.

From then on, for a reasonable amount of time, the simple threat of a return to his lofty perch is enough to quell the beginnings of a whine.

Again, don’t understand the psychology, but it works and keeps us sane 🙂 Terrific-two’s for the win!

Can ya’ll give it a shot and tell me what you find?   I’m over the moon.  Wishing you every success, and the most peaceful of homes!

33 thoughts on “The Definitive Guide to Stop a Toddler from Whining!”

  1. Love that my photos made it on to your blog … does that make me a “cutting edge photographer” 🙂

  2. Might have to try this! Our 3yo is all about the drama! Granted, his Momma is a little bit too, yet he really catastrophizes so so much and then the whining and the begging and the repeating for no reason starts up – uggh! I do a little count, which generally works, but sometimes his life is really oh so hard lol 🙂

    1. I hear you – and totally feel like I share the blame for the drama as well! Let me know if it works for you 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I can relate on the whinning. I have a two and half year old and she can be a bit of a whiner. I can usually tolerate it for a bit before I employ the similar methods as you. You use a chair, I use a mat and a wall. She sits back against the wall and on the mat and when she’s quiet and ready, she’s allowed to step off of it.

    Ahh the adventures of having 2 year olds. There’s definitely not a dull moment. Thank you for sharing this with us on #shinebloghop this week!

  4. Althought my little guy is still a year away from the “terrific” twos, I’m going to keep this in mind. Well done! Often it’s the most simple things that just work, isn’t it?

    1. You got it Tina 🙂 Maybe yours will even be THAT kid -the one who jut doesn’t whine 🙂 haha! Thanks for stopping by!

  5. You seem to have got this sussed. I hope it continues on through age 3 because the terrible twos were nothing in comparison to the threenager stage we’re currently going through! Hopefully this is a sign of good things to come for you. #TwinklyTuesday

  6. Haha this is a cute (and effective) idea! My 3 year old has been in a whiney streak lately and it sure does burn my ears! Personally, I just tell him “I don’t speak whine. I will talk to you when you talk normal”. Works so far… Hopefully this stage will pass soon

    Stopping by from #mommymoments.

    1. Love it! That’s my plan too as he gets older and small “consequences” do the trick. At this stage for him, I find that I have to be disruptive to actually change his behavior. Thanks for sharing that – will definitely keep it in mind 🙂

    1. Never heard of it… But could definitely try using the same technique for naughty behaviours!

    1. Hope it works for you Lisa! Champion whiner makes it sound so positive!!! Haha! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  7. My Son just jumps off no matter how high the chair is ….can hurt himself and would do it again n again he loves jumping off high chairs/table/counters.
    If I make him sit in one place he just yells and cries…I let him do that but it takes a while for him to calm down.

    1. Oh goodness! Tough nut to crack eh! Before the whining chair became a part of our lives I used to just threaten him with a “straight to bed” or “nap time” and that would usually get him to calm down and put on a happy face… have you found anything that works better Neha?

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