Monday Mealtime Musings… Using your words.

Whining is certainly something that is not tolerated in our house. I have worked really hard on teaching Aadelyn to use her words when something isn’t going her way. I realize that she is only 2 years old, however, she understands what we say and I believe that teaching her early on will be far more beneficial than waiting until she’s older and trying to break a whining habit. Here are somethings that I do if she whines.

  • Acknowledge her feelings and let her know that it’s ok to feel sad or mad.
  • Explain the situation to her in simple terms.
  • Check to see if she understands by asking her questions.
  • Remind her to use words instead of whining/screaming. There’s a great song from Daniel Tigers Neighborhood that we sing!
  • Give her time to calm down or think.
  • Let her have a chance to calmly talk or ask questions.

If all of the above isn’t working for one reason or another she is asked to “walk away” or to “give space”. Both of these things were implemented at her daycare and though I don’t use them often, are very impactful. She typically does not want to be asked to walk away from a situation.


Photography by: Gabby Cowin

Lately she has been taking control of some situations and confidently letting me know her thoughts. Remember the fair conversation from last week? This week it got even funnier. Funny in the way that I never expect these words to come out of my two year olds mouth while she is fuming mad.

During dinner:

Aadie: I have to go peepee

I got her out of the highchair

A: nope! Don’t have to go, I’ll eat my dinner.

Me: ok, next time you ask to get down please make sure you really need to go.

5 mins later…

A: I have to go peepee

M: do you really need to?

A: yes, I do need to go!

I got her down and once again she didn’t need to go, and wanted back up.

3 mins later…

A: I need to go peepee

M: ok, listen… if you don’t go you are not getting back up to eat more dinner.

A: but if I do go peepee then I will get to finish my dinner!

M: you got it! So do you actually need to go pee?

A: yes I do!

I got her down, and once again she didn’t have to go. This time I didn’t put her back up, and I also began eating a few of her noodles that were left on her plate. She saw what I was doing and LOST HER MIND…. she came right over and said:

A: No!! No mama! Don’t eat my dinner. That’s mine! You’re not supposed to eat it. I’m supposed to eat it….. give me space!


I was floored. But SO proud of her for using her words. I did my best to keep a straight face, apologized for taking her dinner and let her finish her noodles.

These unexpected moments are some of my favorites of parenthood so far! I can’t wait to have them with Kohden too!

Bex copy



2 thoughts on “Monday Mealtime Musings… Using your words.

  1. the whining has begun in our house– and sometimes I am not so patient!! for a 2 year old, Norah has excellent speaking skills already- full sentences most times and she practices a lot “why are you doing that?” “can you pick-a up me”(she mixes that one up lol) but some days, she will just whine and point. when i clearly know she knows the words to use!!!

    I try and say “are you frustrated- try and use your words”–are there any other little tips?

    side note in regards to Daniel Tiger– I was teaching Norah to ask for help because she was frustrated with putting her shoes on all by herself. she then made my husband and i “take a step back… and ask for help” haha

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL! It’s so fun (and funny) when things sink in and they use them at the correct times.
      Norah sounds like Aadelyn– very verbal! I always have to remind myself that she’s only 2. I usually explain things to her, and then ask questions to see if she is grasping it. Sometimes now (usually when my husband is disciplining) she will ask “what happened?” Or “what did I do?” … he is realizing that he’s not being clear or telling her in a way that she understands fully.
      Usually I can tell what is bothering her so if she has a hard time using her words I can ask leading questions or give her choices and see if it helps her tell me. If I don’t know what’s wrong I try to remove her from distractions, and (again from DT) take a deep breath and count to 4. Usually then she can at least tell me enough that I can piece together what “went wrong” in her mind.

      Liked by 1 person

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