How to stop the whining cry and keep everyone sane


It is like a broken record around here — my 2-year-old’s crying and whining is making us all crazy. I’m talking about the type of crying that happens after I tell him he can’t eat ice cream for breakfast or he can’t take his brother’s toy while it’s still being used. We have a lot of conversations and a lot of hugs, but sometimes he just needs space to get it out of his system, and I need some sanity.

Enter the “crying spot.” In our house, the crying spot is the carpet in our laundry room. When he is crying and whining about something I have already addressed, I simply tell him to go to the laundry room until he is done. Usually, my son is in there long enough to sit down, and then he is finished and ready to join the rest of the family.

When I started this, I had to walk him to the laundry room and make sure he didn’t come out until he was finished crying, which really didn’t take very long. One of my other kids took much longer, so don’t feel bad or give up if it takes some work to establish what you want to happen. Just keep walking them back until they are done.

If my son comes out and is still crying because I said he can’t jump off the kitchen table, I say something like, “Hey buddy, you aren’t done crying yet, go back in the laundry room,” and he usually goes back or chooses to stop and says he is done.

The great thing about this strategy is that you don’t need anything. Your crying spot can be the first step on your staircase, a special chair, or really anywhere — it just needs to be a consistent place, preferably away from the main living area where you spend time.

Just a few disclaimers here: I am only recommending this for the whining cry, not for an issue you need to talk out with them or if they genuinely need comfort. If you have a toddler, I am guessing you know what I mean by that. Also, you need to be sure your child is old enough to understand what you are asking of them.

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