Q: I am having a lot of trouble keeping my patience with my three-year-old daughter’s constant whining and limit pushing. How can I stop from losing my cool?
A: Let’s talk about whining first. Kids whine because it works. And it works because it’s so grating we will do whatever it takes to make that awful sound disappear. We give in and they learn how to get what they want.
Tell your daughter that you will no longer listen to her when she whines. She must learn to use her proper voice. When she does whine, simply turn away and continue with whatever you are doing. If you consistently ignore her until her voice goes back to normal, she will stop whining because it’s just not working. And do make sure to pay attention the minute she stops the whining.
The easiest way to handle kids pushing limits is to be clear on the family rules. When she pushes, just say, “You know the rule.” If there is one thing she seems determined to push, ask yourself whether that rule is fair or appropriate. It could be that it should no longer apply now that she’s three.