The Whining Game

The Whining Game

I’m always happy to talk things out.  We encourage Kubla to negotiate boundaries.  But whining—we do everything we can to stamp it out.  Including playing with him not getting what he wants.

“I want a toy-uh.”

“I’m sure you do.  I guess you’re going to be disappointed. Hmm, how about you make your most adorable face and ask again—let’s see what happens.”

“Can I please have a toy?”

“How can I say no to that adorable face?—No way.” 

  • Child: I’m hungry.
    • Parent: What do you want to eat?
    • Child: A cookie.
    • Parent: We don’t have any. Do you want something else?
    • Child: How about some popcorn?
    • Parent: We don’t have any. Do you want something else?
    • Continue as desired.


  • Child: I have to go to the bathroom.
    • Parent: That’s OK. Just pee on yourself.
    • Child: But I have to poop, too.
    • Parent: Just poop in your pants.
    • Child: But it’s stinky.
    • Parent: That’s OK. We can open a window.
    • Continue as desired.


  • Child: I’m bored.
    • Parent: Don’t worry. We’ll be there in just 3 more hours.
    • Child: 3 more hours? That’s too long.
    • Parent: Do you want us to take a short cut? That way we can get there in 2 hours and 60 minutes.
    • Child: That’s still too long.
    • Parent: Just pretend you’re having a good time. Use your imagination.
    • Continue as desired.


  • Parent: Will you please stop bothering your brother.
    • Child: But if I don’t bother him, who will? Someone has to do it.
    • Parent: You take a break. I’ll bother him for you.
    • Child: But you don’t know how to do it as well as I can.
    • Parent: Why don’t you teach me.
    • Continue as desired.


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