Indoor voice

Caitlin - posted on 09/13/2010 ( 5 moms have responded )

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I really need help - I haven't been this frustrated in a while..

I just had to go back to work, when originally I should have been able to stay home for another 6 months with the kids, but things never go as planned I guess. Well, at least when i'm at work, my husband is home with the girls, so it's not so bad, and this problem isn't related to that at all, just that i'm more stressed than usual, so this get son my nerves more.

Kayla (22 months) has discovered the true potential of her voice.. all the time. She is incredibly loud all of a sudden, and all the time. She seems to like the instant reaction to her it gets, she likes it when I shush her or when I turn to her right away. It's so loud, I have a headache almost all the time and because i'm running on less sleep, it's really hard (2 kids, working full time and studying at university). On top of it all, Zoe (6 months) is at the squeaking stage, and she loves making her noises, so now I have 2 incredibly loud kids at once. I know the baby can't control her volume, so it's not so hard, but Kayla just drives me nuts, she'll be extra loud while the baby is napping, or pretty much any time, maybe it just seems louder then.

How do you teach indoor voice.. what is an appropriate way to teach this, everything i've tried doesn't work. I tried explaining it, or saying "shhh, baby sleeping" i've tried re-directing (she just does whatever that is loudly), i've tried time outs (she'll just scream for a very long time), i've tried choosing quiet things to do, like colouring or reading, but she usually wont have any of it. She almost caused a car accident the other day when I was driving everything was quiet and then all of a sudden she shrieked at the top of her lungs, and I swerved, thankg oodness there was no other car there. Nothing seems to work and i'm at my wits end!

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Nikki - posted on 09/13/2010

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I like to sing a song! I had a song at work where I would sing "this is my inside voice, this is my inside voice, the voice I like to use when im inside, THIS IS MY OUTSIDE VOICE THIS IS MY OUTSIDE VOICE, THE VOICE i LIKE TO USE WHEN IM OUTSIDE."

I used to sing this over and over, when the kids are too loud, I would ask if they had forgotten to use their inside voice, so see if they wanted to go outside.

Whispering and keeping your house really quiet could help too.

[deleted account]

My first thought was to ignore the behaviour. Roxanne went through a phase when she was 18 months where she would scream 24/7 but it only lasted a couple days. I refused to acknowledge her when she was screaming and I would calmly, QUIETLY, and politely say something like, "mommy can't understand you when you scream, please use your inside voice".......she would stand and scream in front of me while I ignored her but after a few days of getting nowhere fast, she just stopped.

Sometimes she still has bursts of wild energy and she'll scream for fun but we typically join in the fun. It hasn't been a problem since.

Good luck!

JuLeah - posted on 09/14/2010

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Sing softly, speak in a voice so quite she has to stop to hear you, use sign language with her ...... give her something TO do that is in conflict with what you don't want her to do.
When I am out, for example, with many kid and have one I know LOVES to run off (won't hold hands) I say "How do dogs walk?" or "Who can walk backwards?" or "how do frogs jump?"
He forgets about running off because he is pretending to be a dog or a frog ..... good luck

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Jenny - posted on 09/16/2010

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all the ladies here have given you great advice :)
just wanted to add my story. whenever daniel - going on 22 months - gets too loud i talk to him in a quiet whisper, and i say im whispering because Isabelle (4months) is asleep, when she's sleeping we have to be quiet.
He usually just copies what i do :)

Riana - posted on 09/14/2010

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Well done Caitlin you are doing great so far! Other ideas I can come up with is playing a whispering game, almost like everything you say is a secret and really really important.

The other option (and I know this is hard) but try to bluntly ignore her when she is shouting and then act all innocent and say "Oh sorry I did not realise you were talking to me the loudness of your voice caused me not to hear / it sounded like you were playing maybe if you try whispering into my ear I could understand"

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