Home > Kids > Behavior and Discipline > Behavioral Problems > Behavior Makeover: Whining

Behavior Makeover: Whining

Our four year old has developed this horrible new habit that's driving my husband and me crazy. Anytime she wants to get her way, she uses a whiny voice that is so grating it reminds me of a dentist's drill. It's so embarrassing that we're afraid to take her out in public. Please tell us what we can do so she stops whining. We're becoming hermits!

– Sue, a mother of three from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

"I can't stand his tone. It's worse than nails scraping on a chalkboard."
"Once she starts, I know she'll keep it up until I give in."
"She's only four, but her begging is driving me crazy!"

Whining – that pitiful, loud, grating sound – is one of the most irritating of kid behaviors. The pitch is an exasperating blend of crying and nagging that's as annoying as a dentist's drill. If that's not enough, whiners have an amazing ability to stretch syllables so they almost slap you back in your face: "Pleeeeeeease" or "Daaaaad!" What's more, whining can quickly turn into a full-blown, ugly tantrum. Although whining usually peaks at around four years of age, it can continue well into the school years. There's some good news though: whining is learned, so the behavior can be unlearned. And the sooner you start your kid's behavior makeover, the less likely it will become an annoying, troublesome habit.

Next: 4 Steps >>

From No More Misbehavin' by Michele Borba, Ed.D. Copyright © 2003 by Michele Borba. All rights reserved. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Buy the book at www.amazon.com.

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

jack-o'-lantern creator

Design and print
your own



Top 10 Group Halloween Costumes for Families
These store-bought and Pinterest-inspired Halloween costume ideas for groups are the perfect way to show off your creative side at your Halloween party or while trick-or-treating.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

12 Spine-Tingling Halloween Movies for Teens
Are you looking for a movie with just a little bit of spook-factor for your teen? Check out these 12 spine-tingling Halloween movies!

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!