First Friday Q&A: What to Do About the Whining and Complaining…

A tricky question from a reader asks what to do about an emotional three year old who prefers crying over trying.  The video can also be found on YouTube.


Knowing your “Hot Button Issues”

Evolution of a Mama Tantrum and How to Stop One {Creative with Kids}

Overcoming Helplessness

Sara Won’t Try {Early Childhood News}

Teaching Kids Persistence {Play Fight Repeat}

Teaching Social Skills

Teaching Social Skills: Can I Play? {NJC}

Teaching Social Skills with Bubble Lessons {NJC}

Parenting Preschoolers: A Starting Place for Social Grace {NJC}

Showing Empathy

A Toddler’s Point of View {Regarding Baby}

What thoughts and/or resources could you share?  I’d love to hear from you in the comments!



Filed under Positive Guidance and Social Skills

6 Responses to First Friday Q&A: What to Do About the Whining and Complaining…

  1. Robin

    As a former preschool teacher and a nanny, I get hear one A LOT! I start by rephrasing the statement, “It sounds like something is really tricky about what you’re doing. If you need some help, can you ask me in a kind voice?” That usually changes the whiny “I can’t do it,” into a (hopefully less whiny) “I need help.” Then, in a SUPER positive voice I respond, “Okay! What can I help you with?” That helps them to identify exactly WHAT is so hard in the first place. Then I assess the hard part and see if it really is too challenging and how I can simplify it or offer different approaches. If the whining continues, we take a break (sometimes a change of scenery or a little physical activity helps re-activate the brain!) and come back with renewed energy and hopefully a better attitude.

  2. This is perfectly timed for our family! It seems the new year has brought us a new child (literally and figuratively) and our 4 year old’s whining is driving us up the wall! Thank you for the tools!

  3. I really enjoyed this video! I especially appreciate the reminders to kids (and for teachers and parents to remind kids!) that it’s ok to make mistakes and to give kids more choices. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized that I’m allowed to make mistakes because I’m still learning things. This is something I work hard to reinforce at home. Looking forward to seeing more First Fridays!

  4. I have felt that if its a hot button issue its a good idea to not deal with it rationally, just HUG the kid and say “oh yes sure you can do it”and then offer to help or walk away. I think what happens in that case is that we get so ticked off by kids like that that our annoyance shows which makes the child even more annoying. A child like this probably doesn’t get a lot of love at home and may be acting that way to get attention. So give it to him/her.

    • notjustcute

      Such a great point! I had a friend once say that if you don’t know what else to do, just open your arms and most of the time the kids will come right in for a hug. I’ve tried it with my own boys and it’s true. It really is therapeutic for both of us. Thanks for the reminder! That is a great tip for hot button issues.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *