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Whinging toddler - normal?

(17 Posts)
sleepcrisis Fri 05-Apr-13 20:54:21

Hi there

My DS is 22 months and a bit of a whinger. It drives me mental but I suppose I always assumed it was quite normal. He doesn't have many words so its usually 'uurgghh' or 'mama mama mama' on repeat.

We have had two play dates today, watch with about 3 other toddlers the same age, and I realised he seems to be the only one doing this and I could sense the other mums getting a bit annoyed by it. He'll whinge for help getting on a bike, for example, and then whinge 'mamamamama' to get off again. He'll try and do something a bit tricky like push a walker up a step, but when he can't do it he'l whinge whinge whinge until someone comes to help. He'll whinge as soon as he catches an inkling of a snack and he'll whinge for more until all evidence of it has gone - eg if a cake is cut up to share, he'll ask for more more more until the plate is clean.

The other kids were just so much quieter and more restrained - they played within their limits and ate what was given to them. I am able to kind of ignore DS if I think he's whining about nothing, but the others seemed to be unable to shut out the whinging and I felt it really interrupted our day.

how does he sound to you and is this just a normal toddler phase? I hate to be annoyed by him but it is just incessant. And its not like he wants cuddles or anything - he just wants me to help or just to acknowledge his presence sometimes. How should I deal with it?

THanks in advance.

MolotovCocktail Fri 05-Apr-13 21:35:30

It's completed normal for a 22mo, OP smile

At this age, he knows what he wants but hasn't yet got the range of vocabulary to inform you precisely. Which is very frustrating for him (and you!) This leads to the whingeing just as much as te want for an object or attention. Vocabulary development is typically slower in boys, too.

With dd1 (now 4yo) I remember there being a tricky period like this between 20-26mo. The nearer to 2-and-a-half she got, the easier communication became. Then her vocabulary flew and now she just never stops talking!

It's a phase. Loom forward and know your little lad will be chattering in no time smile

MolotovCocktail Fri 05-Apr-13 21:36:44

Loom? No, look forward!

sleepcrisis Mon 08-Apr-13 20:08:27

Thanks for the reply and sorry I havent been back, manic weekend.

Glad to know others have been through it but I'm convinced none of the other toddlers we hang out with do this!

He just won't stop mama mama mama and I am beginning to think I am just not handling it at all well and that I'm going to end up with a spoilt brat. I find myself giving in to every whinge and demand - because I can't handle listening to the whinging and whining all the time! He sits in his ride on car and just whinges for me to push him around. I hate pushing him round the house but I end up doing it because he just won't stop!

Does anyone have any tantrum avoiding ways of dealing with the whinging? Because I don't want to end up pandering to everything jut because communication is difficult...

does that make any sense? I've had a tough day and am on a bit of a rant!

fififrog Mon 08-Apr-13 20:25:51

Even when they talk quite well and have a large vocab like my 2 yr old DD they can whinge incessantly! We have just had a week of it, she was lovely today though for a nice change smile it does my head in and turns me into a cross mummy which I don't like. I try my best to ignore and we find counting to five at any stage we want her to do something she is whining about is about the only method of proceeding that actually works.

cuggles Mon 08-Apr-13 20:34:55

my ds is 22 months and you just described him OP! - However my DD was not nearly so bad and had much more language than he does so I am fairly sure that is the key. To be honest I am in the main giving him what he wants within reason, as it is only a short term thing and I can work on any untoward behaviour it brings later on (soonish though!). I do try to say something along the lines of that I understand what he wants but he can not have it now as I think he has much more comprehension than vocabulary! I do not totally give in though, for example he would eat Easter Egg all day given half a chance but I find distraction and moving it out of sight is the answer there! And it most certainly does my head in too...ALOT!

ZolaBuddleia Mon 08-Apr-13 20:42:25

Does he understand what whining is? DD used to be a whiner, until we decided to have a zero tolerance stance on it. Even if he is still only grunting or saying 'mama mama', could you get him to say it in a nicer voice? It helped us hugely, the whining drove me mad!

Kiwiinkits Mon 08-Apr-13 23:09:13

A couple of things that may help:
* Repeat the noise back to him, by using a really whiney voice yourself. "DS why are you whiiiiiiiiining? You are using a whiiiinnneeey voice to Mummy. Can you use a HAPPY voice. I want to hear your happy voice." And then, as Zola said, you can start to go zero tolerance on whines. I have a rule of never passing my DD anything unless she's asked with a happy voice and a please. And it has really worked, we now have no whining at all. (She is a bit older and is able to articulate what she wants, though, so is at a different stage from your DS.)
* Help him to learn the words, even if you think he's not taking it in he will be. Like, "Do you want to climb UP? Say, UP" "would you like FOOD? Say, FOOD please"

I know this sounds obvious but making a conscious effort to teach him what you want may get the result you're after. HTH.

Kiwiinkits Mon 08-Apr-13 23:10:22

BTW Whining is the one thing that truly does my head in, can't stand a whiner. And its worst when its your own child, I think, it gets into your head like a drill.

getoffthecoffeetable Tue 09-Apr-13 09:00:14

My DS is a whiner too, we've been doing as kiwi suggested and it really works. When I do the whiney voice at him he laughs now and then says it properly. It does help when they get more words too.
Good luck!

ChocolateCoins Tue 09-Apr-13 09:25:48

My DD is a whiner too. It drives me absolutely crazy! She's only 19 months so a bit younger than yourDS, but she also does the mummymummmymummymummy thing. I don't know why it gets to me so much, but it does!

The most annoying thing is her favourite doll doesn't fit in the toy pram and yet she will try at least 5 times a day to put the stupid doll in the pram. 5 seconds later you'll hear an almighty scream and whinging. I've tried hiding the doll but then it's 'where baby? Where baby? Where baby?' all day long. angryangryangry

Rant over sorry! grin basically what I'm trying to say is I know how you feel. When I get annoyed I do try and think that it must be really frustrating for them not being able to communicate or do everything that they want to do. And one day (hopefully) she won't need me to help her do something every 10 seconds!

ZolaBuddleia Tue 09-Apr-13 09:33:22

Bless her, If we're going somewhere and we're doing that thing beforehand of talking about behaviour expectations, we say to DD "what are we not having?" and she replies "no screaming and no whining".

Definitely, demonstrating the sound back worked for us. Good luck perfecting your whine, OP!

ZolaBuddleia Tue 09-Apr-13 09:34:52

Sorry, just seen how smug that sounded, what I meant was that we drilled it into her until she got the hang of it.

rrreow Tue 09-Apr-13 14:21:12

With regards to him whinging when he's doing something he has difficulty with, what seems to help for my DS is acknowledging his struggle and being interested without doing it for him. So saying something like "It's tricky trying to push that walker up the step, isn't it? Maybe you could try again." And in other situations as well, acknowledge, maybe give advice or show him how to do something without doing it for him.

An example that comes to mind with my DS was that he wanted to do jigsaws (the big single shape ones that have a little peg to hold onto) but he'd get really frustrated if he couldn't get the shape in. So I showed him how to turn the shapes all the while explaining that I was turning them (without actually putting the piece in for him). After a while he understood the language, so then when he got frustrated not getting the puzzle piece in I'd suggest he turned it and he'd try and do that himself.

He's probably feeling quite frustrated and knows that you can do all these things for him (and maybe has realised that the whingey voice is effective!), so trying the above might help him gain some more autonomy and faith in his own abilities, or at least trying. Also seconding the advice above of not doing stuff when he uses the whiney voice and asking him to use a nice voice. This hasn't really worked yet for my DS (I think he just doesn't really grasp the concept yet) but I'll just keep asking/repeating until one day he understands!

sleepcrisis Tue 09-Apr-13 20:26:00

Thanks for all the replies! So glad to hear I'm not the only one - both in having a whingy toddler and being totally infuriated by it!

I have spent all day talking about nice voices and practicing my imitation of his whinging. He has said please quite a few times today so maybe it won't be so hard to tackle as I first thought.

I think in order to get him to be more independent I need to pay him some more attention? Sounds counter intuitive but I guess from what you're all saying, how will he learn to do/say things if I don't explain them to him?

Thanks again for all the replies.

abbyfromoz Tue 09-Apr-13 20:35:01

Jumping on here a bit late but just wanted to add that DD (23 months) whines incessantly! She has gotten a tiny bit better since she is now linking more words, but it actually scares me and makes my anxiety rise. I feel i am saying 'just take what you want!!' To get a moments peace! Not what i set out to do as a mum. So in conclusion you are definitely not alone.

FloppyRhubarb Wed 10-Apr-13 15:32:14

My DS is a bit of a whinger too, although he is slowly getting better I am going to try some of the advice given here.

One thing that has helped a little though - especially for whinges when he wants to do something physical (climb up/down, put puzzle pieces in, open close things/etc) has been encouraging him that he can actually do it himself. So when I got the 'Muuuummmmmyyyy heeelllllp me' on repeat I now respond with a 'You can do it sweety' and try to explain how he takes a lid off his toy box/climbs onto the trike/gets onto the slide etc. So, 'You can do it sweety - lift your leg up and move it over the seat and you will be on the bike all by yourself!' Once he's done it I tend to make a bit fuss - clap, smile and say 'Look! You did it all by yourself!!'
That has seemed to give him more confidence in his capabilities with the added benefit of less whinging and direct interference from me when he is playing.

I hope that helps a bit? Whinging does my head in, and my partners, nothing drives us round the twist faster!!

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