My daughter’s whinging really winds me up. How can I help her to stop?

Categories: Behaviour | Conflict | Girls | Primary


My 7-year-old daughter puts on this really babyish voice and starts whinging when she wants something she can’t have. It is infuriating. How can I get her to stop?

I wonder where your daughter comes in the family. If she is the eldest, she may see that being “babyish” and needy, typically, gets a caring response from you. If she is the youngest, she may be subconsciously trying to hold onto this childish role to get a caring response from you.

I wonder, too, what it is about this voice she uses that bothers you so much? I wonder what meaning it has for you? Understanding our own emotional response to our children can often help us to find an effective way to then help them change, without our usual buttons getting pressed. Sometimes we have our own habitual responses to a particular tone, that means that we don’t even listen to what gets said.

To help her change, you may want to acknowledge the tone of voice she is using, showing her you hear the “babyish” tone, and letting her know calmly and firmly, that when she speaks with her usual voice, that you will properly consider her request. You may also need to empathise fully with her desires, and the frustration she may feel when you can’t give what she wants. I think if she feels heard and understood in this way, she will be better able to accept the fact that she can’t always get what she wants, and that whinging further won’t help.