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Noreen Claire

Is it possible to teach loud children to be quiet(er)?

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DS7 was born loud and needy. He naturally speaks with a loud voice. He can self-modulate when he knows that he is expected to, such as at church and in the library, just not at home. He talks constantly.

 

DS4 was born quiet and laid-back. He has developed a naturally VERY LOUD speaking voice, and we are trying to teach him to self-modulate; he does well at church but not yet in other places and definitely not at home. He can go for hours not speaking at all if he is engrossed in a project.

 

DS2 was born very loud and very needy. He also has a naturally VERY LOUD speaking voice, and I am trying to teach him to ask for things quietly rather than screaming bloody murder. He's two - it's going about as well as expected. He's also a screamer.

 

*sigh*

 

They are also very active boys who are always playing, banging, and fighting. This makes for a VERY frazzled mama. The older I get, the more I realize that I need some quiet during each day. I can usually count on the older two to be pretty good during quiet time while the little one naps, but not always - and it really isn't enough. Add to this the fact that we will be adding a baby in October and I need to find ways to lower the volume in the house.

 

Here's my question - can you teach loud speakers (children) to be less loud speakers? Tips? Tricks?

 

(And, yes, they've all had their hearing checked.)

 

Thanks!

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I don't think so. My almost 13 year old has always been super loud, no matter what we do. I want one of those decibel trackers in the car. I finally resorted to audiobooks at all times in the car in an attempt at silencing, at least in small enclosed spaces.

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As a person with a loud voice...I am thinking probably not.  I am 38, and never has any amount of shushing or keep your voice down or why are you shouting or anything else ever worked...at least not for long.  Not as a kid, not now when my family gets together and my sister or brother tell me 10 times "voice down, you are being so loud."  Not when people I worked with or for would say something, etc.  I mean, when people would say "hey you are being loud," I would make a conscious effort to lower my voice, but it would always creep back up.  My hearing is also fine, it's just who I am. 

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i don't think so either.  i also play audiobooks in the car for silencing and it works. I also have NO TALKING rule when the vehicle is in reverse.  It was implemented when the kids were all being loud and I could not hear the garage door so therefore I thought it was up...it wasn't (ETA it was 2/3 up and I couldn't see it).  I instituted that one when the youngest was a baby and the 3rd almost 2.  it is a small step and they seem to be able to be silent for that amount of time, but you can't drive in reverse all day :closedeyes:!

 

the loud voices only bother me in the car otherwise I send them outside when it gets to me.

 

 

Edited by Rosyl
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Yes. Usually it is taught as 'inside voice' and 'outside voice' and they learn to get feedback from their own ears, as well as notice when other people modulate their voice or are in pain from the ear piercing sounds they are producing willy nilly. I send them outside if they refuse to use their indoor voice.

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Some of my girls went through a shrieking stage.  It would usually trigger an immediate headache.  I instituted a rule that they would have no screen privileges until my headache was gone.  They realized quickly that they shouldn't shriek.  So, yes, given the proper motivation they can learn.

 

One of mine is very loud.  She does well most of the time, unless she is provoked.  Or hungry.  Or tired...

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As a person with a loud voice...I am thinking probably not.  I am 38, and never has any amount of shushing or keep your voice down or why are you shouting or anything else ever worked...at least not for long.  Not as a kid, not now when my family gets together and my sister or brother tell me 10 times "voice down, you are being so loud."  Not when people I worked with or for would say something, etc.  I mean, when people would say "hey you are being loud," I would make a conscious effort to lower my voice, but it would always creep back up.  My hearing is also fine, it's just who I am. 

 

Nice to know there is a kindred spirit in the world!

 

I WAS taught 'inside voice' and 'outside voice'-- but cannot tell by 'hearing myself'-- I have to physically feel it--so I'm usually too loud or too soft especially if there are a lot of distractions.

 

I'm 51 years old-- my big sister is coming to visit this weekend.  I guarantee you that she will ask me to lower my voice several times during her visit... She is a bit more understanding now--Her first two children were 'quiet' and 'well behaved' with appropriate inside and outside voices-- then she had her boys!!! :lol:

 

Being loud is NOT necessarily a parenting or lack-of-parenting issue, it can just be the way a person is wired!

 

 

 

 

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I saw a great technique at my DS's tae kwon do class. The taught kids voice modulation using a number system. The loudest you can possibly be is a 10. They practiced different volume numbers, then when the instructor needed them to quiet down, he would ask them to use a 3 or what ever.

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In my kindergarten classroom, we teach about voice levels. From 0 to 5: complete silence to screaming. We model the different levels, we have the children say the same thing in different voice levels. Level 0 is for lining up, when the teacher is talking, reading, etc. Level 1 is what you are allowed when you are reading out loud, enough for the child sitting right next to you to hear you. Level 2 when working in a group. We practice and it does make a difference, but with all things, you need consistency and patience, more with some children than with others.

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I have a born loud kid. And a born quiet kid who learned to be loud to be heard. (Also, another born quiet kid who stayed that way, but he's an adult now.)

 

We've tried a lot of ideas, but maturity has helped the most with the born loud kid. At a younger age, we used an app that was fairly effective for some time. It showed a gauge on the iPad screen, and measured decibels. When it got louder, the needle would move. When the decibels reached a certain level, an alarm would go off, and it would show a graphic like the screen breaking. That app was great! It didn't have to be me reminding him about volume all the time. It was objective. :)

 

ETA: I think it was this app: http://toonoisyapp.com/

Edited by Spryte
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Nice to know there is a kindred spirit in the world!

 

I WAS taught 'inside voice' and 'outside voice'-- but cannot tell by 'hearing myself'-- I have to physically feel it--so I'm usually too loud or too soft especially if there are a lot of distractions.

 

I'm 51 years old-- my big sister is coming to visit this weekend.  I guarantee you that she will ask me to lower my voice several times during her visit... She is a bit more understanding now--Her first two children were 'quiet' and 'well behaved' with appropriate inside and outside voices-- then she had her boys!!! :lol:

 

Being loud is NOT necessarily a parenting or lack-of-parenting issue, it can just be the way a person is wired!

To the bolded...exactly!  I genuinely do NOT realize how loud I am.  I recognize that it's a flaw I have, I recognize it can annoy people and so I don't get annoyed at hearing "voice down please" for the eleventy millionth time in a day.  I only get annoyed when people get crappy and snotty about it after I have warned them.  When I encounter someone new that I am going to see on a regular basis such as a new co-worker or something (like back when I was working lol) I always let them know that I have a loud voice, I am aware of the issue, but I never realize how loud I am being, so feel free to just let me know nicely and I will try to keep it down.

 

 

But like I said, it will creep back up anyway. 

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My DS18 has no volume control.  When he's driving us crazy, we pretend to aim a remote at him and click the mute button.  He knows that means to turn it down...usually lasts maybe 30 seconds, sigh.

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I've known lots of moms who train "inside voices". None of my kids are very loud, if anything two of them needed help speaking up sometimes. But I have seen other moms tell their kids, "use your indoor voice" during activities and seen their kids tone it down.

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My child whom I thought was "naturally loud" turned out to have late-onset hearing loss. She never acted like she had trouble hearing because she figured out how to read lips and use context clues to fill in the gaps. Just because a child passed the newborn screening or even a full audiology exam in the past, does NOT mean that he/she still has normal hearing now. I would go get a hearing test. Chances are that the child really is just "naturally loud" but I learned the hard way that isn't a safe assumption to make :crying:

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When my children are talking too loudly, I respond extra quietly.  The child naturally lowers his voice.  Sometimes I go so far as to whisper.  My kids are little so ymmv.

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My paternal relatives are mostly loud. Whoever wakes the babies get to rock them to sleep :lol:

 

They did learn to modulate when strangers gave them annoyed stares.

 

My kids are loud when excited, even my DS11 who rarely talks. The finger to mouth works only if they notice hubby or me or the librarian doing that. The single tap on their shoulder works better for us.

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In my experience, no. Three of my four children are loud. Two are loud, exuberant talkers, and the third has a quieter voice but makes sound effects. We can coach them to be quieter during a specific moment (this sometimes works, and sometimes does not), but it has not made them tone things down in general.

 

It's a true problem, because I am extremely sensitive to noise, and it stresses me out.

 

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We suffer from the same problem. And sadly I think I have turned into a loud talker from trying to talk over the loud talker. Sigh. :(

 

I'm turning into a shouter because I'm so frazzled! I don't want to be a shouter...  :crying:

 

 

It's a true problem, because I am extremely sensitive to noise, and it stresses me out.

 

This. I'm hoping that, after baby is born and my hormones re-balance, that it might not be so stressful to me. However, since I'm expecting my lack of sleep to *increase* with a newborn, I'm not really holding my breath...

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Funny story about my house....ds is deaf...he knows ASL but refuses to use it and with or without his cochlear implant processor is loud. Younger dd is 2 years younger than ds. Of course she got multiple full audiological work ups still she was a loud child. It got to the point where we had her retested only to have the audiologist tell us her hearing was a perfect as it gets. She really is just loud. My older dd has outgrown some of the loudness so there is hope but I rather think I will have to resort to sending them to the opposite ebd of the house for some time yet.

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We suffer from the same problem. And sadly I think I have turned into a loud talker from trying to talk over the loud talker. Sigh. :(

Sometimes speaking very quietly does work at my loud house but only not always.

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I saw a great technique at my DS's tae kwon do class. The taught kids voice modulation using a number system. The loudest you can possibly be is a 10. They practiced different volume numbers, then when the instructor needed them to quiet down, he would ask them to use a 3 or what ever.

 

 

In my kindergarten classroom, we teach about voice levels. From 0 to 5: complete silence to screaming. We model the different levels, we have the children say the same thing in different voice levels. Level 0 is for lining up, when the teacher is talking, reading, etc. Level 1 is what you are allowed when you are reading out loud, enough for the child sitting right next to you to hear you. Level 2 when working in a group. We practice and it does make a difference, but with all things, you need consistency and patience, more with some children than with others.

 

 

I'm going to try this.  Noise really, really bothers me.  I have one who is super loud and cannot seem to tone it down, one who loves making sound effects, and one who, I think, learned to be loud so he would be heard and now cannot seem to tone it down. The talking softly so they listen better thing...does that actually work for people?  Mine don't even realize I'm speaking if I talk softly.  And all but the 3 YO had a hearing test this summer and their hearing is fine.  The super loud one even has better-than-average hearing.  

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I have two kids with loud voices. They have been taught about inside and outside voices since they could talk. Their natural speaking voice is just loud. Drives me nuts. I tell them to keep it down, and they try, but within a few minutes, they are back to speaking loudly ... even when they are sitting right next to each other.

 

My kids are adults. This has been a losing battle for a long time. Their bedrooms are adjacent to one another, and it is really fun when one loud one loudly complains about the other loud one keeping him/her awake by being too loud. The miscreant is talking on the phone ... or singing. Then they argue about whether the current loud one is talking loudly enough to prevent the other one from being able to sleep. They take turns doing this and they Never Learn.

 

 

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I don't know. Mine are all pretty quiet. 

 

I spent a week with my sister and her family this summer and her boys - 6 and 4 - are LOUD! I asked one of them to use his inside voice and my sister said that was his inside voice. I'm someone who needs a lot of quiet so - yikes.

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Agreeing with pp that in most cases it's that Loud Person doesn't sense the decibel level ... so while various tools ("inside/outside", teaching scales, practicing) are all good communication frameworks to convey the discomfort that other people feel, Loud Person still won't experience that sensory input independently.  Just as I'm wired to be supersensitive to sound, my dearly beloved Loud son is super-impervious to sound, which makes him loud... he just doesn't register auditory input.

 

 

When they're kids, it's worth investing time to develop non-shaming communication mechanisms (we use a tiny imaginary radio dial in a very inconspicuous finger gesture for "dial it back, dude").  Conspicuous "shushing"  in public contexts is just about as rude as the loudness itself.  

 

But once they're grown and launched... I dunno.  If they don't sense what they're doing on their own steam, and IME they don't, it's bound to just keep happening.  Sigh.

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As a person with a loud voice...I am thinking probably not.  I am 38, and never has any amount of shushing or keep your voice down or why are you shouting or anything else ever worked...at least not for long.  Not as a kid, not now when my family gets together and my sister or brother tell me 10 times "voice down, you are being so loud."  Not when people I worked with or for would say something, etc.  I mean, when people would say "hey you are being loud," I would make a conscious effort to lower my voice, but it would always creep back up.  My hearing is also fine, it's just who I am. 

 

You probably can't teach him but can make him aware of it, once he's old enough to really understand and able to notice it in himself. It's still likely to be an issue for him though if that's just the way he is.

 

I am on constant watch for when I get too loud during normal conversations. I'll realize it and try to lower my voice. I have a close friend who is willing to give me silent signals (at my request) when it appears I don't realize how loud I'm talking. 

 

It was a problem for a while between ds and me because he thought I was always yelling at him. He understands now, but I feel bad for him when he was younger and didn't really understand that it was my problem, nothing he did, and that I wasn't yelling.

 

I too have very good hearing, especially for someone my age. 

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I think the whole purpose of singing rounds of songs at camp, quieter and quieter each time, is to teach kids to modulate volume.  So it can be taught; but I doubt it will ever come naturally to a child who was born loud.

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