The 5 Steps to Respond to Whining

Clair Mellenthin

(KUTV) Salt Lake City - Any parent knows how irritating a child whining can be. Clair Mellenthin is a play therapist who joined Kari & Brooke on Fresh Living to share 5 of the most effective responses to whining.

Clair writes,

"Research suggests that people tend to experience whining, which peaks when kids are between 2 and 4 years old, as “one of the most distracting sounds on the planet,” and view it as more annoying than a screeching sound on wood, crying, heavy drilling, or other uncomfortable nails-on-a-chalkboard type sounds. Kids may whine because they lack the ability or words to ask for help.

5 Strategies for Parents:

  1. Ask yourself "Is my child hungry, tired, stressed, or scared right now"? Then act with compassion
  2. Ask yourself, "Am I stressed, hungry, tired, or scared right now"? Kids may whine to get attention or connection from their parents.
  3. Remind yourself that whining can be your child's way of expressing their emotions or feelings. Remember to "name it to tame it"
  4. Some children are born with a more sensitive temperment and may overwhelm easily. Set the pace of the day's activities that are manageable for both of you
  5. Avoid reinforcing whining by being consistent and not giving in “once in a while” to things like extra time on a video game, an extra toy in the supermarket, or an extra late bedtime, which stops whining in the moment, but reinforces it for the long-term.

This segment is based on the blog post"

To get more tips from Clair, go to or