08 March 2008

Inside voices, please!!

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Mad About Kids. Thanks for reading!

I have been around a lot of kids, both in my past career as a preschool teacher and as a mother, and I have come to a conclusion about households. I believe there are two types of households--regular ones, and loud ones. And by loud, I mean LOUD!

I think that some people are just naturally loud speakers, and, therefore, their households tend to be full of loud talkers. I'm sure you have met some loud talkers before, haven't you? People whose voices are just a lot louder than most? People who aren't quite shouting or yelling, but who aren't exactly talking in inside voices? Well, just think about how these people are at home...they tend to talk loud at home, too--and, therefore, so do their kids.

Now, I'm not saying that loud talkers are bad--I know a lot of great people who happen to be loud talkers. But, when two of my kids' best friends come from a loud household, and these kids come over to spend the night rather regularly...well, I'm sure you can imagine what that might be like.

We had one of the loud kids over for the night last night. He's a pretty nice kid--but, for some reason, whenever he is here, he turns my youngest son into a loud talker. Well, that's not exactly right--he turns my youngest son into a yeller. I think Xander decides that he needs to compete with his friend's loud voice, and he tries to win the competition by getting even louder--by yelling. Loudly. Constantly.

So, even when the kids are getting along, it sounds like they are arguing. And my husband and I spend a lot of our time telling the boys to use their inside voices. Does it work? No. Well, maybe for a minute or two. But then soon they are back at it--the friend using his loud voice and Xander yelling.

Is there anything we can really do about this? I doubt it, unless we decide to stop inviting the loud-talking kids over. But that isn't likely, because my husband and I are friends with their parents. So, I guess we are stuck with it. Unless someone else has an idea?


Pinching Abe said...

My kids are loud too! DD is very loud (so loud, we considered getting her hearing tested, but she passed the hearing test at her ped visit). What we do for both kids is when they are talking too loud, we make them whisper, for like 10 minutes. Sometimes longer, until they take the hint! This way, they work their noise level up from a whisper and things stay quiet for longer.

Joeprah said...

LOL. Our youngest, is our loud talker, and if my kids are talking to loud, I just yell really loudly, "Shut up!" :)

Just kidding, I think proper modeling is the key here. It sounds like you aren't loud and this rubs off on them. Their friend sounds like he comes from a louder household and that probably (no expert) makes him louder naturally. Anyways, just make sure your kids know that they need to act like themselves and let them know you are aware that they are acting different. My first suggestion anyways. Second suggestion is a muzzle. ;)

Michelle said...

Hmmm...a muzzle, huh? I'm sure that would go over real well with the friend's parents (who happen to be our friends)...ROFL!!! Thanks for the mental picture, though--maybe it will help if I can imagine that when the kiddos get too loud?

I do like the idea of a whisper challenge, though...that might be worth a try...(though I really don't know that they could do a whole 10 minutes).

hari said...