How to stop kids whingeing

Expert advice from Jo Frost on how to deal with a moaning child


Q: My son doesn’t really cry but whinges. Whenever I don’t give him constant attention he either whines or makes an angry noise, and throws his arms around in a temper.

Jo Frost says: You should try to defuse the situation rather than letting him know you’re bothered by it. Here’s how…


First of all, don’t respond in a “what’s wrong!” way. If you do that, it’ll become 
a taught behaviour. If you have done that already, you need to try to stop.
Instead, say: “When you whine you sound like this…” and mimic him. Whenever I do that, kids always laugh. Then say: “Try using your proper voice,” and when he does, repeat it.


If he’s whinging for something he’s not allowed, don’t give in. But if he’d like a drink, for example, then you can go ahead once he’s used the right voice. If not, simply take a step back and wait until he ‘decides’ he wants to ask nicely!

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