Your preschooler may whine when she doesn't get her way.

The Most Annoying Things Kids Do

by Erica Loop

While you might want to think that your precious little one always acts like an angel 100 percent of the time, there are most likely a few things that she does that may annoy you. Although you probably won't find a mom who would stoop to telling her child that she is acting over-the-top annoying, there are certain things that all kids do that can grate on even the most well-mannered mom's last nerve.


Hearing a nasally 4-year-old's voice screeching, "Mommy I don't wanna clean up my toys" is something that almost every mom experiences at one time or another. While your child may squeak out another type of not-so-obedient statement, it's the whining in itself that is one of the most annoying things that your little one can do. Instead of holding your hands over your ears and letting the whining escalate to epic levels, put a pin in this unwanted behavior immediately. Calmly, yet firmly, tell your child that you won't listen to him when he whines. If this doesn't work, walk out of the room or turn around and tell your child, "I will only listen to you when you speak in a nice voice."


You are in the middle of the mall pushing your baby in the stroller with one hand and holding your toddler with the other when all of a sudden your 2-year-old spies the cookie kiosk. When you calmly tell her that it is too close to lunch time to have a cookie she loses it and throws a temper-fueled tantrum. While tantrums are typical for the toddler, and sometimes preschooler, set, they are annoying behaviors that can make you want to run away screaming in your own little outburst. Keep in mind that your young child doesn't have the emotional maturity -- and may not have the language skills -- to express her emotions effectively. Couple this with an immature sense of self-control and you have a recipe for annoying outbursts. When this happens, keeping yourself calm is key. Redirect your child to another activity or interest, or put her in time-out in a quiet, distraction-free space.


As your child grows into a more independent toddler, you may hear more "No's" than you care to think about. While defiance is a top way that young children can get annoying quickly, it is also part of growing up. Think about how dependent your child was on you as an infant. He was fairly immobile and couldn't explore more than his immediate surroundings. He also didn't have the cognitive skills to understand that sometimes there are choices and problems to solve. As your child moves into the toddler, and later preschool, years he starts to develop increased mental reasoning abilities. These make the young child prone to defiant acts. Although you might not like it when he says "No," some defiance simply shows how your child is developing into his own independent thinker.


Even if the saying does go that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, that doesn't mean much on the third hour of your toddler mocking your every move. While she probably isn't exactly mocking you, mimicking your behaviors can take its toll on your nerves and turn into an annoying behavior. Developmentally, young children in the toddler and preschool years use imitation to learn and experience new concepts and skills. For example, your 2-year-old may imitate your emotional expressions as she is learning about how to recognize and communicate feelings. Although her overly-furrowed grimace may seem to mock your frustrated expression, take it easy on your little one as she is just trying to navigate new social and emotional territories.

About the Author

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.

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