November 10, 2009

Tuesday Manner 11/10/09

"Anything for a quiet life."
--Thomas Middleton

Oops, fell asleep last night and forgot to post! So instead of a post, I have a question.

What are some polite ways to encourage and model "inside voices" with kids? Mine seem to only have one volume . I've tried pointing out my voice as a guide, using hand signals to send the message discreetly, and played whispering games. So I'm looking for some other ideas. Have you got any tips for me?


  1. We only have one child so the quiet is the norm rather than the exception. I don't know if these things will work for you with a tribe, but little things like you talking quietly to them, putting on "quiet" music (we listen to the classical station A LOT as our "background noise). Sometimes I say "I am standing right next to you, I can hear you, you don't need to speak so loudly" -- in a nice way. Quiet family activities like drawing night, story telling, etc.
    Kudos to you for parenting 3 in a thoughtful way.

  2. I don't know if you have any pets, but when I was a kid (not that long ago) my parents would tell me loud noises would upset animals (the fish, the puppy, the tadpoles, whatever pet happened to be in the room at the time) and if I was going to talk like that they'd have to take the animals somewhere else so they wouldn't get upset. We also went to the zoo and went birdwatching sometimes in the early morning when it was quiet outside, so it was really driven home for me that if I was loud the animals would leave or hide. Alternatively, my quiet voice was my "library voice" and I didn't get to go to the library that day unless I demonstrated that I could use my library voice by being quiet at home that morning.

  3. I usually say SHHHHHH -- in a voice much louder than what they're using! Really, I remind them before we go in to a place, usually the library, where they have to watch their voices. This works for my five year old, most of the time. The two year old... well, you can never tell!

  4. Since we moved, I usually remind my son that we have neighbors now, and that the walls are thin. He's doing pretty well with that.

    In general I just try to watch my voice. If I realize I'm talking more loudly than necessary, I say, "I was being louder than I needed to be" and lower my voice.

  5. That is a great question. I have a 19 month old that has 2 volumes, loud and unspeakably loud. I try playing a loud/quiet game with him where we both yell really loud and then we whisper really quiet. But he only just yells loud. It is cute at home but not so much in the real world. LOL

  6. boatbaby-I really like the idea of incorporating some quiet time into our day. I'm reading about mindfulness and meditation right now. I enjoy the kids being able to be loud and rambunctious, but I would also like them to find a time and place for quiet.

    Bovi-What a great idea to use animals. We have a dog, but he's as loud and crazy as the kids! But bird watching or maybe the squirrels in the backyard would be a good place to start. Thanks!

    Beta-I do that too. I try to demonstrate the differences in their current volume and a lower one.
    Sometimes I wonder if they even hear the difference though LOL.

    Wendy-I think you hit the nail on the head. If I can catch myself being loud and mention it, maybe that will really help out a lot. Thanks for the great idea!

    KristenMary-I think mine never grew out of those two volumes. I ask my son to whisper and it's like he has no idea what I mean. :)