3.5 yr old super whining phase?Subscribe
Ok, I know Susan's description for this group is The best part of being a mom are the kids, but this is not currently the case in our household Did someone forget to tell me about the super-whiny phase my 3.5 yr old is having? It's non stop and it's driving us all nuts. Time outs don't really work - she thinks it's fun to sit in a quiet place.
Been there done that? Something weird going on? Give it to me.
Totally, totally normal. Irritating as hell, but totally normal. It's hard, because it reaches a point where you probably would be willing to do nearly anything to get the whining to stop, but you can't -- if you wait her out and then give in at the end, all she takes away from the experience is "Well, if I whine for a looooong time, I'll get what I want."
When my 3-year-old gets whiney (which is every day, at least), I calmly, gently, and firmly say, "I'm sorry, sweetie, but I can't understand you when you're whining. Could you please say that again in a regular voice?" Sometimes, I'll repeat that 4 or 5 times before she stops and talks normally. Sometimes, it works right away. I'm hoping that, eventually, it'll work right away all the time... we'll see!
For the record, I sometimes have to do this with my older kids, too. And when my 1-year-old starts wordlessly whining to immitate his big siblings, it's all I can do not to laugh...
Oh, good to hear, phew.
Tonight I reached the end of some rope - literally she was whining this am, then after school, then with the sitter (who rarely complains!), then again with me. So after asking her numerous times to stop it and talk normally, putting her in timeout - which she enjoyed a bit too much - I quietly gave her a bath and put her to bed 45 minutes early. At that point she saw that I was upset and didn't fight it - leaving me here to feel like a bad mom, of course
I don't know that this helps, but we're at 3 months past the 4th birthday and the whining continues.
Don't feel like a bad mom . . .
I have to tell myself daily that my little whiner is most often trying to get something out of his system. . . . school is overwhelming for him (I think) and daddy is gone alot . . .and he's tired . . . and he's in that stage of eating lots one day and then next-to-nothing the next day . . .
They're little bods just have alot going on, I think? Maybe?
Hang in there . . .
Some advice that I have heard (yet not tried, since we aren't at that point) is setting limits. saying things like "if you talk to me in a whining voice then I am not going to respond, but if you talk to me in a normal voice then I will be happy to talk to you" (this is just an example, you may have some better consequence for whining). What I've heard is setting limits like that helps children be able to predict their actions. In order for it to work though you have to stick to whatever the consequence is. Also, it's good to realize that she will test the limit that you set but once she realizes that you aren't budging she'll likely make a different choice. I got this advice from Taking Power Struggle out of Parenting by Sharon Strand Ellison. My Mom went to one of her seminars on nondefensive communication, and I'm telling you the woman is brilliant!
Definitely don't feel like a bad Mom! As much as we love being with our kids, it's really hard too...and sometimes they aren't fun to be around.
Certainly not a bad mommy and NOT alone with putting her to bed early when you've had enough!! I've had to do that recently, too, and don't even bother to feel bad. My 3 y-o experiments with the whining, like last night, she wanted me to carry her upstairs to the bath and started to whine about it. I just told her, "You can throw your whinies out the window and get up to the bathroom, please." And I kept walking. With her that works every time. She settled for my holding her hand up the stairs and then asked me if she did a good job doing a compromise! She got a huge smile for that.
oh the fun to look forward to! all i remember is my younger (much younger) brothers went through this too. I would only warn that you also watch how you are talking to them and others around you.
My step mother didnt even realize SHE was whinning back to them 'why do you keep DOING that' (whinny voice) until my dad was making fun one day and whinned at them both! he thought he was being funny, she was NOT ammused - but i had to leave the room because it was HYSTERICAL!!!
For us turning 4 was like flipping a switch and getting a new child! The whiny, not so fun, is this really my child phase stopped. Like magic.
I remind myself... "This too shall pass". Frequently. My almost 3 year old is turning into a child I don't know. At the Dentist office the other day, she put her hands on her (size 18 month) hips and said, "NO MOMMY". Yep, that's my darling baby girl.
Then my hygenist said, "She doesn't listen to you, does she?" I wanted to scream! This is just a phase. We will all survive. So, it doesn't appear she is getting the whiny gene her older siblings have, but instead, we are getting a defiant streak. Let's hope its done at age 4 as well!
Now that I think on it... my 7 year old son does have a tendency to whine still... maybe they haven't completely outgrown it. However, for him its more of turning the tears on to avoid getting in trouble. (Does it work, you ask? NO WAY!)
Good luck... and remember, it's all normal behavior... except when it's not.
Thanks for all the perspectives... really helpful to hear that this is normal. Definitely have up days and low days with it - yesterday being a rare day without too much whining. But you know how the whining can just get under your skin? The endless, ongoing kind? UGH!
I can't help with this but my son Nick is 2 years old and seems to be going through this phase already. He doesn't want mom, but I can kind of understand that since I was in the hospital for a month in september and October. Sometimes not even dad works though and he gets really annoying. I'm glad to hear that it is a phase and I can do something about it.