Boys and the Whining Game

By Renee Martinez, Founder of Raising Boys World

I have 2 friend’s who have 6 year-old sons going through a whining phase. This morning, while on a run with one of them, we discussed her son’s antics, possible causes and solutions. Nothing worse than the whining phase. Just reading the word whining makes me cringe. I mean honestly, I’m a pretty laid back person, but the sound of a child communicating in a high-pitched screechy voice makes me lose my patience.

What’s with 6 year-old boys these days? My 6 year-old appears to have escaped this phase but maybe it’s because he whined from 3-5. I don’t think a child intentionally whines at first. The whiny voice comes in to convey the child’s desire for something. Their begging and pleading gives them this special voice, which they soon learn has powerful effects if they know how to use it. What parent can stand for the whining (unless you’re a Sargent like me) and so they give in and before you know it, a habit is developed that can be difficult to fix.

I found this question on the Parents Connect website:

My three boys are constantly whining, even when I give them what they want. What should I do?
You have constantly bought into the whining so they constantly do it as they know it gets to you. You have to explain to your boys that your ears hurt when they constantly whine and that the only way you are able to understand them and help them is if they use their big-boy voices. Then you can try to help them with whatever it is that is causing them so much duress. You have to be tough here and not give in to the whining. As you said, even when you give them what they “want,” they still whine. It is also about changing the wants to needs. “I want doesn’t get” as you have probably heard me say before.

So you want to know what I do? I nicely remind my sons that whining is not tolerated in my house. Should they wish to continue to whine, they can either go in their room or in the basement and whine until their heart’s content…as long as I cannot hear them. When they are whine free and somewhat composed, I will be happy to discuss matters with them. I may even give them what they want if they speak like a human and not at the high pitch of an insect or an animal. I speak very matter-of-factly and you know what, it seems to work. My attitude is that this is my life too and I cannot be surrounded with behaviors, attitudes or things that are disrespectful, annoying or rude. Escape is impossible from whining, so lay down some rules to make your life easier.

In the article The Myth About Boys by David Von Drehle, sums up what I expected might be true: “When no one’s looming over them, they begin making choices of their own,” “They discover consequences and learn to take responsibility for themselves and their emotions. They start learning self-discipline, self-confidence, team building. If we don’t let kids work through their own problems, we get a generation of whiners.”

About the Author:  Renee Martinez consults and speaks professionally on social media marketing, integrated marketing communications, public relations and branding. She is the president of Ruby Marketing Communications (, a boutique marketing communications company that specializes in providing branding, social media strategy and integration, and creative services. Her blog (, provides resources on everything marketing and social media for her active audience. 
Renee has contributed as a featured monthly columnist in the monthly jewelry industry publication, JCK, on matters related to internet marketing as well as in InStore Magazine as a featured blogger where she writes about developing effective marketing strategies for the jewelry industry using social media. She is the founder of: Social Media Biz Summit (, the first large-scale SM conference to come to Buffalo, NY; #jewelrychat, a weekly twitter chat for the jewelry industry and Renee teaches social marketing courses at Canisius College in Buffalo, NY for the business school as well as offers small group social media marketing training and educational seminars for businesses in Western New York and beyond.
Renee has dabbled in the internet marketing arena since the early 90′s and is not ashamed to call herself a “marketing geek”. From chatting in AOL, “sharing” music on Napster, and teaching HTML classes before it was considered “cool” to developing comprehensive social media strategies, effective public relations campaigns and managing online communities (most recently Chevy Girls Buffalo).
She enjoys being able to help people find their voice online and to create buzz about their product or service that will give them the results they desire. 
Renee can be found on Twitter (@reneemmartinez) and Facebook (http:/