"You never let me do anything."
Carl Mowry, 10, has been known to whine that he never gets to do what he wants. His mom, Carla, has a take-no-prisoners response: "You know what?" says the Omaha mom. "You're right! I will leave your life alone. But I want $800 for the house payment, $200 for food...." Carl gets a full list, and he has to write it all down.
A better way to respond: Lecturing may shut down the grumbling, but it doesn't get at the problem. Find out what's behind the whine by saying, "Is something wrong? I get the feeling you're upset about more than just not getting to play at Brad's house." Whether or not your child wants to confide in you, at least you're opening the door to the conversation -- on his level.