Children have many ways of dealing with conflict and it's out duty as parents to teach which of these ways are acceptable and which ones aren't. Little Johnny can punch his little brother for taking his train or he may stand up and tell a parent or teacher...and every action in between.
My own oldest son has recently latched on to the crying and whining crutch of conflict resolution. When something doesn't go his way, he immediately raises his voice and lets out a whine before falling to the floor in tears.
It can be as simple as drinking from his drink, stealing a French fry or reading his book. These aren't tantrums because he's not angry or falling to the floor kicking and screaming. He simply puts on his best high pitched, whiny voice and goes around telling everyone about it.
I do my best to resolve the situation, but also talk to him about how he should have resolved the conflict. Instead of tears and whining, he should not get so worked up and simply tell me about it. Slowly, but surely things are getting better. He's handling conflict better and either lets it roll off his shoulders or if it's something that really upsets him, he will come to me or his mom.
It's a huge step in the right direction and parents shouldn't be worried about telling their children about proper conflict resolution. I had to tell him several times before he began to actually listen, so don't give up.