Somewhere, somehow, children develop the most annoying sound in the world: whining. But there is valid reasoning your kids find a certain high pitch that makes your skin crawl. It is either a legit cry for help because they can't keep it together anymore, or a simple power play of dominance over you. It requires us to listen to each whine and think about the context. This listening is hard. In order for our ears to hear the subtitle ques, we have to be calm, emotionally resilient, and have the time. We don’t always have these things but as parenting goes, you need to make the time. Whining about being hungry, tired or overstimulated are legitimate emotional breaking points, so it’s important to acknowledge them. Empathizing with them when they truly are struggling isn’t encouraging them to whine more; it’s acknowledging that sometimes it’s just hard to pull yourself together. However a child can quickly learn that whining gets them what they want. For those instances, exercise the "try again" strategy. That is, you ask them to repeat their request in a more polite, less-whiny way. You can even prompt them with how to rephrase their question so that, “I waaaannnnnt juuuuuuuuuuice” can be modified to the more socially acceptable and less grating, “May I please have some juice?” The absolute key is that you do not give in to their whiny demands until they’ve adjusted their tone and language as needed. If you give in, they’ll just whine harder and louder and longer next time. Once they've made their demand minus the whiny voice, praise them for using their polite voice. Kids love themselves some positive reinforcement. If they think they’re going to get that juice and a compliment, that’s extra motivation to tone down the whine.