thread: I need tactics that will help with 3.5yr old DD whinging

  1. #1
    Registered User

    Jul 2008
    Country VIC

    I need tactics that will help with 3.5yr old DD whinging

    Hi I realise that many of you have probably gone through this or are going through this but please I dont want you to come in here and tell me DD will just grow out of it because whilst I do realise this I really really needs tactics to get through this "stage".

    My DD is 3.5 she is very clever has no problems with words, talking or communication. She whinges almost all day long at anything and its not just complaining its wining, whinging, you know the annoying constant that makes you want to punch the crap out of something because its so irritating.

    I just ignored it at the start but now its starting to take its toll on everyone in the house. Basically it needs to STOP I am not going to wait out this "stage" i cannot deal with it any longer, I am exhausted from it all.

    Currently the rules are if she whinges, says no (in a rude way when I have asked her to do something) or hurts her brother she goes to time out. Time out is her room, she does not like to be in there by herself so this is why we send her there. This does seem to work a little bit and its what I will continue to do. She goes for 3 minutes, she knows why she is there and she needs to apoloise or she goes back there.

    My thoughts are that she gets bored, she is very clever and sometimes I cannot give her full attention, I cant be sitting with her or playing with her all day she has a little brother I need to give my time to also and obviously the house doesnt look after itself. You know the drill.

    I would just like to know if anyone had any ideas or anything that worked for them. Would love to hear your suggestions.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Registered User

    Jan 2012

    We don't do time out as a general rule, but i had success with being very repetitive, i had a script, when she started it did a sudden "Please don't.. I cant understand the whinge voice, please use words" I would give her a few moments of attention to get her a chance to talk... then either listen to her talking normally or continue with what i was doing. It was VERY repetitive for a while.. and i was saying the same thing over and over, but it made a difference in a few days.. and now she knows the routine.

  3. #3
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Feb 2006

    Read 1-2-3 magic (or watch the DVD) they have great tips for whinging etc..

  4. #4
    Registered User

    Oct 2008

    Don't know if these are particularly successful LOL but I a) say 'I am hear to listen when you want to use your words but I don't listen to whining', or b) say 'I don't understand whining', or in desperation c) do something equally non-communicative back, something friendly like humming, but something that gives the message that just making a noise is not going to get you anywhere. And OK I may have asked a couple times 'would you like some cheese with that w(h)ine' but that didn't work, I don't recommend that as a strategy unless you are just in it for the laughs

  5. #5
    Registered User

    Feb 2008

    Three and a half was reeeally hard! I found it to be the worst stage of the early years by far and it had me at the end of my tether. I remember the whining, and I remember feeling at a constant stage of short fuse.

    I think I became really clear with "I can't understand you properly when you speak like that so you need to speak clearly, then I can get whatever you need sorted out." I was consistent with that rule and tried to attend to DD as soon as she asked properly so that the better behaviour was reinforced.

    In the end, what really saved my sanity was gaining a better understanding of the stage through reading some of Louise Bates Ames writings. She has a theory that the "halves" (2.5, 3.5 etc) are a particularly difficult time for kids where they are going through lots of changes physically and emotionally and can be more challenging to manage because of it. The planning with kids blog summaries her theory for 3.5 well (google "planning with kids three and a half)

    To quote the bit specific to you:


    We have hit some peak levels with whining recently. But at least I know that it is completely normal for this age:

    Tensional outlets increase. There may not be only eye blinking and stuttering, but rubbing of genitals, chewing on clothes, excessive salivation, spitting, tics and whining. In fact, whining is a hallmark of Three-and-a-half, and can be extremely irritating…..Emotional insecurity, which so many seem to feel at this age, may be due to a large extent on the temporary inadequacy of the motor system.

    Your Three Year Old: Friend or Enemy by Louise Bates Ames.

    Possible Solution: No solutions to eliminate this one unfortunately, but am just trying to work with him on it. I calmly state that when he asks for something, he needs to use a clear and calm voice so that I can understand him and respond only once he has done this
    Once I found this it helped me to re-evaluate how I was responding to DD on the whole. Knowing it was 'developmentally appropriate' to whine or be clumsy or be really helpless, made it so much more easy to manage for some reason. I guess I just resigned myself to it more, rather than battled it and after I made that decision, it all seemed to improve, almost overnight.

    That reminds me, I must go and look up 4.5…. might explain some of DD's behaviours at the moment

  6. #6
    Registered User

    Jul 2008
    Country VIC

    Thanks girls, I have started saying to her "I cant understand what you want when you talk to me that way so I cant help you" she is prettyy switched on so talking to her does help. I have also started distracting, so if she starts to whinge I find an activity for her such as helping me with cooking or a chore or pulling out play dough or crafts which she loves or finding a game or doing something outside, she forgets what she is whinging about. DH and I are also trying hard not to raise our voice and to make sure we are giving her our full attention when she is talking to us, stopping what we are doing and listening. Yesterday, last night and most of today has been great, she got hungry today and had a little episode but I cant blame her for that, I know how I get when I am hungry lol.

    So I think the biggest thing for her has been that shes bored and when she is bored she whinges.