Subject: "Help With Whining Toddler"

Message Body:
Hello!
I have heard several of your messages and read your posts on child rearing. They have been very helpful to me with my almost 2.5 daughter.
Lately, she has been whining and asking the same questions to me over and over  a lot. I also have a son who is almost 6 months now. I am unsure if this behavior is caused by the new addition, just her age, or her trying to manipulate me. I would really appreciate some insight on what I can do.
Reply:
Thank you so much for reaching out to us!  Praise the Lord that our ministry has helped you and your family!  That is definitely encouraging! 🙂
We want to handle this biblically and correctly for you and your kids so here are a few Bible thoughts:
 
#1 – Proverbs 18:13 “He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.”  Counsel is best given when the counselor knows the whole situation.  Since we do not regularly see you or your kids, it would be “folly and shame” for us to throw out ideas.  There can be a number of important reasons why your dear toddler is whining and repeating things.  It would be best for those closer to the situation to give specifics.  Therefore we counsel….
 
#2 – I Cor. 14:35 “And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home:”  God’s pattern for wives and mothers is to always first get counsel from their husbands.  Part of the husband’s job is: “That he might sanctify and cleanse it (his wife and family) with the washing of water by the word (the Scriptures)” – Eph. 5:26
 
#3 – Titus 2:3-4 “The aged women likewise…That they may teach the young women… to love their children,”  This one is a very important, little practiced principle for younger mothers and wives.  Find an older woman whose children have all turned out well.  If all of her children have turned out well, it means she knows what to do with children.  The reason we would direct you to an older woman instead of helping you ourselves goes back to point #1.  You can have the older woman observe your situation closer and in more detail than we can.  From a distance, we could make guesses, but we might be way off.  It is best to follow God’s wise counsel to seek out an older godly Christian lady whose children are doing right even in their older years.
 
While encouraging you to find some hands-on help, we are also including some troubleshooting ideas.  Of course, this is without us knowing all details.
 

1 – Rest and Delight

Proverbs 29:17 “Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul.”

When everything is the correct, biblical way in our child’s life, our children will give us rest and delight. When these two things are lacking (rest and delight), something(s) are missing either in us or our children or both.

2 – If you study “crying” and “calling out” in Scripture, you’ll find a pattern of it arising from a need for help. From the moment we are born, we learn how to cry even when we cannot communicate in any other way. Our natural response to crying is to feed our little one or put them to bed, but children need much more than sleep and food. Constant whining is usually a sign that a bigger need is not being met. Humans cry out when we are in need.

3 – Order

I Cor. 14:40 “Let all things be done decently and in order.” Is there order in your home? Regular set time for going to sleep and waking up, for afternoon rest time (see our article “Daily Siesta, Weekly Fiesta”), meals, play time, etc…. Kids excel when their house, room, life, schedule, etc… are ordered.

4 – Investment

Train: Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

Teach: Deuteronomy 6:7 “And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”

Children excel when their parents invest in them. As you can see from Deut. 6:7, the required investment takes most of our time (diligently; sittest; walkest; liest; risest). Training is different from teaching in that it requires a hands on investment. Most children do not turn out right, not because their parents didn’t teach them God, but because their parents didn’t train them. Potty training, bicycle training, eating training, talking training, swimming training, washing dishes training, patience training, etc, etc… take a lot of gentle, loving time.

5 – Relationship

Proverbs 23:26 “My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.”

Do you have your child’s heart? In order to gain your child’s heart, they must know you love them. Kids don’t comprehend the complexity of life yet, so the lessons must be very simple. Kids understand fun and laughter, and interpret fun and laughter as love. If you want your child’s heart, you must learn to play with them, laugh with them, have fun with them. As I Cor. 13 makes abundantly clear, nothing replaces love. And even when parents make a lot of mistakes, “love covereth all sins” (Pro. 10:12) and “charity shall cover the multitude of sins.” (I Pt. 4:8) Our children will put up with a lot if their parents’ love is loud and clear to them.

 
Your servants in Christ,
Evangelist and Mrs. Alberico