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Whining: Causes

Most children whine and nag at their parents occasionally, but it becomes irritating when a child whines constantly.

Some of the more common reasons for whining are:

  • Your child is tired or sick.

  • Your child feels that no one is listening to him.

  • Your child copies someone else who whines.

  • You give into your child when she whines, just to stop her from whining.

It takes many years for children to realize they can't have everything they want, when they want it. Don't forget that children have far less control over their emotions than adults do, especially when they're feeling frustrated, sad or left out.

Toddlers often whine because they can't find the words to say what's really bothering them, or what they want. They can also whine when they feel frustrated and defeated by something they're trying to do.

Three- and four-year olds seem to do the most whining, probably because it was successful in the past. Also because they are still learning to put their thoughts into words.

Five- and six-year olds don't whine in quite the same way, probably because they're better at saying what they want, but they may constantly question your decisions. And they will certainly continue to whine if they have found it to be successful in obtaining what they want.

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