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Riverleaf1772 11-18-2012 08:42 AM

Whiney 3 Year Old
So my 3 year old seemed to hit a wall at her third birthday a couple of weeks ago and the whining/crying has come on full force. I know its developmentally right on course and we've had a trying couple of weeks (I recently had some minor surgery and we have relatives visiting for the holidays) but it IS SO GRATING! I'm trying the ignore, send her to her room, etc... but we live in an apartment and my husband worries about the neighbors, and I feel like I can't take her anywhere. We had to calm a tantrum about not bringing baby and stroller into the grocery store with us today- before we could even get into the grocery store. I also made the mistake of bribing a couple of times just to get where I needed to go, and now she wants bribes all the time! Ugh. Now I'm whining.

threelittlehoneys 11-18-2012 09:23 AM

Re: Whiney 3 Year Old
dp sorry

threelittlehoneys 11-18-2012 09:23 AM

Re: Whiney 3 Year Old
IME bribing doesn't work. She needs to know that tantrums won't put any power in her hands before she's going to stop the tantrums. For going out that means letting her throw her fit and ignore it. I'd try this first at places like parks, or on walks, or at family or friends houses. Then when she gets better I'd take on places like the grocery store.

With the stages of constant crabby I'm afraid I'm no help. Other than putting on a happy face and singing happy songs I think we just winged it through those stages

lookatreestar 11-18-2012 09:37 AM

Had to leave target bc my 3 year old was pitching a fit about a toy. bribing might work temporarily but it won't stick. Not to mention you kind of teach them manipulation at the same time.

megenic 11-18-2012 09:43 AM

If you do an amazon search there's a book called "stop the whining" which was amazing for us. I'm on my phone so can't link. Some of the ideas seem over the top but it worked so well for both my girls (5 and 2.5) that I'm not exaggerating when I say we have NO issues with whining anymore. I'll update later with a link when I'm on the computer.

teacherpippi 11-18-2012 09:49 AM

Re: Whiney 3 Year Old
I hear you!

We're dealing with whining here too.

What has helped:

-Not "understanding" the whining- I sympathize with her "You're sounding sad right now. When you're calm, let me know what you need again."

-Giving clear expectations (and choices when possible)- "We're going to be leaving in five minutes. Do you want to get your shoes on now or keep playing and let Mommy choose your shoes and socks?"

-Whispering rather than talking louder- I get to her level when she's whining or screaming and hug her and whisper in her ear.

-Let her be disappointed sometimes/don't always solve- Sometimes life is like that. I still sympathize and try to be understanding.

-Give time away/to calm down- "Wow! You're having a hard time calming down. Why don't you and your puppy (her favorite) read a few books in your bedroom? Do you want me to shut the door so your sister doesn't get in?"

Riverleaf1772 11-18-2012 01:52 PM

Re: Whiney 3 Year Old
It's most challenging when we need to go and she won't get dressed or whatever. If it is school/work I don't have a choice and she's getting kind of big to shove into clothes.

Thanks for the ideas! :)

megenic 11-18-2012 04:07 PM


Originally Posted by Riverleaf1772
It's most challenging when we need to go and she won't get dressed or whatever. If it is school/work I don't have a choice and she's getting kind of big to shove into clothes.

Thanks for the ideas! :)

I learned a really awesome trick for this very situation from the book Playful Parenting!

You get two toys (stuffies, dolls, whatever) and make them talk to each other.

The first one says in a mean voice "You can't get dressed all by yourself! You're too little!"

Then the other one says nicely "oh yes she can! I have seen her do it!"

The mean one says "I don't believe you!"

The other one says "it's true!"

And on and on. My daughters thought this was so funny and immediately proved to the mean stuffie that they could do it. I had the mean one pretend it didn't see them getting dressed and continue to say they can't do it until finally they were dressed. Then the nice stuffie says "see I told you!" and the mean stuffie says "well I bet you can't do it tomorrow!"

I really only had to do this for about a week but both my girls got such a kick out of it and dressing became so much fun and not a fight. This works for all kinds of other struggles too. Sometimes I find just lightening up the mood eliminates whining and fussing whereas nagging and speaking sternly makes it worse. At least it does for mine :-)

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