How to Keep Your Kid from Whining to Get Something

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I need some help with my 8-year-old. I dread taking her into stores because she constantly asks for her mother and I to buy her things. If we say “no,” she whines and begs. While sometimes we give in and buy her things once she has begged for a while, and we do have the occasional tantrum. The whining is what is driving us crazy. How do we avoid the whining and tantrums altogether?

— Patrick, Columbus

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How to Respond to ‘Why? Why? Why?’ Questions

Dear Kid Whisperer,

My 3-year-old is driving me crazy. I don’t really know if you can call this a “behavioral problem.” He is doing something that I know is typical, but knowing this hasn’t saved me from losing my mind. He keeps asking me “Why?” about every single little thing that happens! “Why are you doing that?” “Why? Why? Why?” I notice that he’s not even listening to my answer. Do I ignore him? Do I run away? What do I do? — Phil, Omaha, Neb.

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How to Get Your Teen to Keep a Clean Room

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I have been having a power struggle with my 16 year old for the last 10 years about the mess in his room. I am exhausted from it. I am embarrassed at how long I have been fighting this battle and how long he has been winning it. I have grounded him, taken away privileges, you name it. Sometimes when I really threaten and yell, he will pick up most of his things. He leaves his stuff around the rest of the house as well. He will be going to college the year after next. Should I just give up on this one and just pick my battles? I’m not sure what to do.

— Sarah

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How to Stop Your Kid from Causing Problems with Another Kid

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I have been all over the internet looking for a solution to my daughter’s problem with another student and was hoping you may be able to give some insight and suggestions. The problem is between my daughter and another girl. For the last 2 years, these two have annoyed, picked and argued. I have been to the school on several occasions to help come up with a solution to no avail, and just this last week it has become physical. They have started kicking each other in P.E., in the lunch line, and on their way to art. They also seem to have a type of “competition” going between themselves.

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How to Train Your Child to be Polite

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I was your server last night when you came into my restaurant with your wife and daughter. You told me that if I “Liked” you on Facebook and emailed you the question that I asked you, that you would answer it. So I did and I am. So now, how do you get your daughter to be so polite? She said “please” and “thank you” not only to you and your wife, but to me too. My daughter is much younger than your daughter, but I would like her to be that polite by the time she is two. -Anna, Dayton, Ohio

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