You asked

How can I stop my child from whining all the time?

Your preschooler relies on you for almost everything, and when he gets no response from you, then this is when the whining will probably start. He is trying to attract your attention to his needs, and will carry on whining until you do pay attention to him.
Before you reprimand your child for whining, it might be a good idea to explain in detail to him why whining is not acceptable. Remember, he does not really know the meaning of the word, so you are going to have to demonstrate it to him. Using dolls, show your child what a whining child sounds like and that it annoys parents. Explain too that whining is such an unpleasant sound that people stop listening. Demonstrate a whining voice and a good voice to your child. The chances are your child will find your demonstration of a whining child very good for a laugh!

Usually, when you are in the middle of doing something, your child will try to attract your attention. You might be concentrating and unable to pay attention to him immediately, and this is when the whining will start.

If your child asks for something in a pleasant way, then respond as quickly as you can to encourage him. You don’t want to encourage your child to interrupt you whenever you are in the middle of a conversation either, so explain to him that, if he interrupts you nicely without whining, then you will listen to him.

If your child needs your help with something and you are really busy, then tell him that you will help him in a minute or two, and then do just that and praise him for waiting until you had finished.

It would also help if you had regular times for being with your child for reading, playing, or just simply to chat. If these can be done before your child needs to complain, then thank him for waiting for you. Once he realizes that there are other ways to get your attention, the whining will gradually disappear.

Your child will get moody when he is tired and hungry, so avoid taking your child out with you at these times - it will trigger whining!

You must also be sure to respond consistently to you child’s whining. If your child is whining when asking you for something, then tell him that you cannot understand what he is saying, and that he must talk to you in his normal voice. You might also try covering your ears and closing your eyes when your child whines, just to let him see that you are not happy with the way he is speaking to you. On the other hand, when he is talking to you in his normal voice, then cup your ears and put a huge smile on your face. Keep saying or doing the same thing every time, don’t give in, and the whining will eventually stop.

Just as important as it is to respond to his whining voice, so to should you respond every time he talks to you in his normal voice, even if he is asking for something that he cannot have - explain why he cannot have what he is asking for, but thank him for asking so nicely.

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