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I would die for that.

watch this video with a box of tissues:


I have a shrieker. I suggest premature deafness.

Don't let it get them results. "I'm sorry, I can't hear you when you are that loud."

Two of my boys are yellers. Most of the time, though, I've found that it is usually a developmental thing - they are just experimenting w/ their voices - or they are stuffed up (ears and noses clogged w/ allergies or colds) and they can't hear as well in general, so they yell to compensate. Kind of like how older people start yelling when their hearing goes. Whispering and making sure I make eye contact, so they can read lips and read facial expressions, have been my best tools. HTH!

I always say: What? I can't hear you. What did you say? In a calm voice and they will evenually bring the volume down a bit. But it is annoying in the store....mostly because people are watching! I hate that!

My kids shout too. I have three boys and BOYS ARE LOUD! However. I do not allow them to shout at me in any way and I do not allow them to shout in public. Should they wish to test my patience and shout in public (especially highly populated places like a restaurant!!) I will warn them to be softer. If they don't listen, we leave. BUT they are older now. 7 and 4. I'm still waiting for my 1 year old to get loud lol

My mother always said "I'm sorry, I can't understand you when you whine/yell." I have found myself doing this same thing to my stepdaughter. I think it was the first time I realized "Heyyyy, my Mom could understand me perfectly, it was just pissing her off!" Heh!

It totally works, by the way.

You could also try my mother's other standby: "I'm sorry, I don't speak Whine/Yell. Please speak (Language Of Your Choice)."

Incidentally, you may have to broken record it for a while.

The first couple of times you say you don't understand yelling, they're just going to do it louder. Eventually, though, their desire to be listened to will win out.

My youngest is a shrieker. The other two, no. The first is Angel Childe and the second is naughty and occasionally loud, but #3 is loud even when happy and well. As a newborn, this child's cries woke The Patriarch their first night home, and he NEVER woke up with our newborns before that. He sat up in bed and looked over at me where I was attempting to gather the tiny source of the horribly loud noise to my breast, with little success since the child seemed to value screaming over eating (still does). "OH MY GOD," he said, "LISTEN TO THAT! THAT ONE WANTS TO MAKE SURE THEY GET TAKEN CARE OF." Now the child exclaims over everything at top volume, all day long. "BIRD! DUCK! EAT! FOOD!" they'll shriek, pointing to a duck on tv eating bread. "MOMMY! DUCK! BREAD!" So loud. So, so loud. Let me know if you find an answer. Even my other two children are anxious for one--the six-year-old will say "Mommy can't you do something about the poor little baby?" I have auditory issues, too. A real enema, isn't it?

There is no way you have the loudest children in the world because I have the loudest children in the world. For sure. No doubt about it. Come visit my blog entry for today and see what you're going to be blogging about in 12 years. Honestly, it doesn't change... loud is loud.

I constantly tell them "I'm not shouting" or "I'm right hear and I can hear perfectly well". But they still yell. Constantly.

I'm not so fond of loud noise, either...but my minions are the loudest people I have ever met! As long as it is "a joyful noise"...I try not to be too upset. I am severly outnumbered by them (4 to 1!) so I have to chose my battles wisely!


May I make a small suggestion. As an observer who's BTDT, I've learnt that it's perhaps better to reprimand them/fix unacceptable behaviour directly rather than labelling it as "naughty." At their age an abstract term like "naughty" will still be very vague. In fact the word is a really odd one for me. Who defines it? Whatever the particualar behaviour you want to stop, might be better to say "don't climb on the furniture/hit your brother/throw food on the floor etc" than this vague blanket concept of "naughty" which means very little to them by definition. They'll have already have picked up that naughty is as thrilling/magic/mysterious word as swearing or some other behaviour that brings a reaction. They don't have our screwed up judgements about good and bad so to them a word is just a word and a behaviour is just a behaviour. They're learning about their world and if a word or a behaviour brings an extreme reaction then their minds go - ah cool!!! Let's play with THIS new toy. Sounds to me like shouting is a cool game, shouting gets what they want, and "being naughty" is a fascinating abstract, without concrete form so why not find out what mommy throws the magic "naughty" word at and what is just boring, plain old stuff.

I also have similar thoughts about the word "good." Kids can grow up developing unconscious ideas about being "good" because when they're "good" then mommy is happy and I might get rewards of some nature etc. So forever after we unconsciously strive to "be good" which is such a subjective term and most of our hang-ups come from past scripting about "being good." Better to simply explain that x behaviour has this consequence and this is how mommy feels about it. How do you feel about it and how do you feel about how mommy feels about it etc.

I definitely agree with the advice that you never respond to their yelling. Just calmly and quietly responding "So sorry, darling, I can't understand you when you yell." until they talk in a normal voice. Ella has the MOST IRRITATING way of screaming Maman. She doesn't use that tone with anyone else, naturally, and it absolutely grates on my nerves. Cannot stand it, cannot make her stop though I have explained a million times. She's not doing it quite so often as before and I should consider that a victory, I suppose. But honestly, I can imagine with two of them doing it, I would be climbing the walls. Good luck with it.

Barney the dinosaur once had an episode on our inside (in a house or building) and our outside voices explaining when to talk loud (outside) and when to talk quieter (inside). My children thought he was the greatest and it was so easy to expain when in a shopping centre that we are to use our inside voices and when they played outside that they could yell and shout their heads off. Worth a watch. Of course they are both in their teens and just mumble now....what is a mother to do????

Hi T
I taught Matt and Brad using the CD player. We huddled around it and I would put it on loud and then try talk to them. They would instinctively reach for the volume control and "turn down to 2". Now they are much bigger and still respond when I say "oi, turn it down to 2 guys".
They come home from school and on the playground need to use volume 15 to be heard so it is a little reminder that we're back home and can adjust the volume.
All their friends now understand "volume 2 guys". Shouting drives me batty !

When my daughter would yell, I'd quickly cover my ears and act very hurt "Ouch! That hurts Mommy's ears soooooo much. Ouch! I think I'll have to call the dr. sniff sniff". She used to run over and kiss my ears b/c I acted that hurt.

I've also been known to threaten a dr visit to have her voice checked to see if it can be "turned down". Bad Mommy!.....

Also, always act like you can't understand them when they yell, and you can try responding with a whisper so they have to be quiet to hear you.

My girl is now 6 and perfectly non-loud.

Sorry, but visualising your high-powered, gorgeous kids shouting like that cracks me up! Loving that Kate told you not to be naughty, they are hilarious!

No real help except to not ever respond to the shouting. "When you ask me in your sensible voice..." or whatever.

But another socially-unacceptabe part of me says to enjoy them the way they are, they are so clever, so full of life....I just love it!

They're old enough to start to get the idea of inside and outside voices, like someone said above. Just don't respond when they use the outside voices indoors, and if you're in a public place, tell them you'll leave if they use their outside voices indoors. And then DO - you have to follow through on those threats a few times, and then they will get the idea.

*LOL* Are you talking about my daughter here?

My husband and I have resorted to acting as if she still wasn't loud enough. We scream at each other "DID YOU GET WHAT SASKIA WANTS? SASKIA, SPEAK UP, WE CAN'T HEAR YOU!"

Don't ask me how and why, but it helps. *shrug*

For a while she also screeched like two pieces of metal scraped against one another, at the top of her voice. I screeched right back. The problem was solved after two or three weeks, because she obviously hated that sound as much as I did.

My (twin) nephews are loud too and one thing that worked, although it might give you a sensory meltdown, was playing around volume A LOT at home - playing "loudest voice" "quietest voice" etc. etc. It helped them learn to regulate.

Then when my SIL would take them somewhere she'd have them yell in the car/parking lot before they all got out, for their "yelling time" and then remind them to use their inside voices afterwards. THEN she would do the "I can't hear you" thing. That all seemed to help quite a lot. Good luck!

Just because you have allowed them to shout at you, doesn't mean that you can't put a "no shouting at mommy" rule into effect now. Children shouldn't be screaming and shouting indoors (outside playing is fine) My twins are 18 months, and sometimes the volume starts to get elevated because they don't think they are being heard. I tell them "no shouting at mommy" and "I can hear everybody if you are quiet", and if they shout again the get "naughty time" (this usually involves turning their high chair to face the wall for a minute, because the shouting usually commences at meal times). Believe it or not, this works. I try (try being the key word)to never raise my voice myself. I get this from working in preschool. There is a "use your indoor voice" policy, without it there would be total chaos. I think that the volume thing just becomes an issue whenever there is more than one kid.

Unfortunately you've already let it go so long it's "normal" to them now. You will have to constantly tell them "I'm not listening until you speak quietly/indoor voice" and then IGNORE the yelling. It's going to suck, and they're going to yell more, and they're going to think it's funny, then they're going to get really annoyed. But they'll stop. You should not be allowing them to yell in a mall just because they are having fun. No one likes hearing kids screeching/yelling in an enclosed place. Take them to the park and tell them this is a GREAT place for yelling/having fun, but not at home (at mommy/daddy) or in a mall etc. It's going to be tough to break, but you will be able to if you're consistent. Good luck.

Sorry, also have to add; it helps to get right down (kneel) and grab a hold of their shoulders when you're talking to them. I too understand the "yelling back doesn't work". You have to get right at their level, in their eyesight and touch them and say something to the effect of "I can't hear you when you're being that loud" or "I will not listen to you if you are yelling you must speak quietly" then let go and walk away.

Put me in the softly, calmly issued, "I'm sorry, I cannot understand you when you are being so loud." Then say nothing until the volume goes down. Because your kids are a bit older, it will involve a lot of waiting at first. I used this as a nanny with several children. Never fails if used consistantly.

Also, the indoor vs outdoor voice can be helpful. It gives them a concrete enviromental cue. Indoors is for normal voice, the great outdoors is for being loud.

I went through a whole day where I only whispered. No matter how loud the children get, you never raise your voice above a whisper. They might play along and have a change of heart.

When my girl gets bossy and shouty, I tend to take hold of her by the shoulders, lean right into her and make eye contact. Then I speak in the low, calm voice. It generally works. If it doesn't, I'll go for "shhh". She knows what "shhh" is all about.

Oh boy. My Max is two last week. His new trick is to shout "SHUT UP!" at full volume, as close to my face as he can get. He's a little young for reason at this point, so we tell him "No thank you," when he does that, which usually gets him bellowing "THANK YOU!" instead. But I think in general ignoring is pretty much the best tack to take.

It's awful. I can't wait for this phase to be over. I can't imagine how you make it with two, Tertia.

Stop it the way you would any type of socially obnoxious behavior: Exercise some sort of consistant consequences, like LEAVING the mall or whatever when they're loud. Unless they are truly hard of hearing, they do this becasue they CAN. And kill the tv, loud music whatever is in your house that they talk over. Once they shout over the tv, turn it off.

In situations such as those I find that it's necessary to keep a spray bottle close at hand. ;)

I also have an exuberant, happy child who lives life loudly. My middle child was v loud as well. Like you I have a difficult time with noise, but I have no tricks to get it to stop. Amelia outgrew it and is now v quiet. I suspect Olivia will outgrow it as well. Yours probably will too.

If not, there's always the spray bottle. Works on husbands, too. ;)

I love you, Tertia, but I would be one of the people angry and staring. When I am out and kids are shrieking like that, it inspires me to violence. Not that I act, but I really feel like breaking things, it is that intolerable.

Kids should not be allowed to yell (1) in a place like that, and (2) at their mom. Oh my god, if I said "NO MAMA, I SAID NO, DON’T BE NAUGHTY!!!!" to my mom when I was a kid. That would have been serious punishment*. I never would have even considered yelling in public, even at that age, because I knew how much trouble I would be in. We would have immediately left. And saying something like that to her?!? Pffffph - no way that would EVER have flown.

I'm with everyone else - you need to immediately institute a new policy and make it VERY clear that this kind of yelling is never ever ok in public, and that the kind of disrespectful yelling at you is also not allowed. No exceptions. Leave if they do it in public, and do whatever you do for punishment if they go overboard at home. They will learn and they should.

*My mom used to send us to the bathroom - there were no fun things in there like in our room, and we could never sneak out with the excuse of needing a drink or to relieve ourselves.

Sheesh, you'd think this was really a conundrum, judging by all the comments.

Just remember Occam's Razor and keep it straight and simple.

Wack 'em!

3 or 4 wacks and no more shouting, guaranteed!

I did the indoor voice, outdoor voice explanation. When they were too loud I'd calmly say I can't hear you in that voice, can you tell me again? They eventually got sick of repeating things to me and stopped. Thank goodness!

Totally agree with the "I don't understand yelling..." suggestions. I have two boys, and the younger one (17 mo.) is quickly learning from his older brother (3) how to be LOUD. I also LOVE the book "How to Talk so Kids Will Listen, And Listen so Kids Will Talk" -- Good Luck!!!

hye i usually just lurk around but i just wanted to say thank you for signing a book for me at the book fair even though i was not there myself when my sister called me to tell me she got me a signed copy (my other copy is very worn out) i was ecstatic.

i think theres an error on your times blog "who were conceived in a laboratory in May 2006, transferred back to my womb five days later and born on the 07th of January, 2005" just thought you should know.
And again thank you for the great book and the depth you give infertility it is no longer just about the science of it all you make people see the emotion involved.

good luck with the FET


Purchase ear plugs!


hey tertia, i agree with almost everyone here. basic psych says the kids will only do what works for them or - what they get results from. every time you respomd to their shouitng in ANY way, especially doing what they want, you are telling them this is what they should keep on doing, or reinforcing it. i had two whiner-yellers, and i calmly explained to each one (when i finally figured it out! it took me 12 years to figure out that caving to my first husband's violent bullying was telling HIM his behaviour was ok - sloooow learner, that's me) that i would NOT say yes to any requests in whining or yelling voices. i did this at home (because being out shopping or similar would SUCK), and actively ignored the noise, just saying quietly when they WEREN'T yelling/whining that i would only say yes to quiet calm requests. they learn much faster than me, and within two days all i had to do was raise my hand and say, 'quiet voices' and the volume disappeared. they were 2 and 1/2 years old.
the key is that you have to mean it, no good saying no then giving in, because then they know you are full of it! little brats.
i overheard my eldest daughter warn a young friend who came to stay that it was no good arguing with mum if she says no, because she always means it, and if you try to make her change her mind she doesnt give in.
also (and this was almost impossible in my house because of the violent marriage), if you and marko yell, it is no good at all trying to stop the kids doing it - they do what we do. big brats breed little brats. eeek, but true.
best of best of best of luck with the pregnancy hopes. if wishes could be magic, you would have a million happy embryo's inside you right now, well, one with a million fairy godmothers on her/his side.

Behavior modification, Tertia! If they don't know who is boss with yelling when they are this age, they REALLY won't know it when they're fifteen!

"If you want mama to listen, you must ask nicely."

"I cannot help you when you yell like that."

Perhaps you should try teaching them the "indoor/outdoor" voices. Let them know it's fun to run, play and be (reasonably) loud when outside, but when you're inside it is not nice to be so loud. Also, at this age, reinforcement is a huge helper. Reward them when they don't yell in a situation where they could have (internal or external rewards) and so on.


Whisper phones. My SIL uses these on her screamers - they think the phones are cool toys and it has stopped their screaming b/c when they yell it hurts THEIR ears, not just Mommy's.

Oh no! Myyyyyyyyyyyyy kids are the loudest in the world!! They think it's funny to scream at the top of their lungs across the dinner table. I do all the usual things to quiet them down and they all work, but, somehow they still manage to do it every day and it HURTS my ears as i am sensitive to noise like you are.
When they start to get very loud i remind them of my 3 rules: NO HITTING, NO PUSHING and NO SHOUTING!!!!

How about teaching them the concept of "inside voice" vs. things that are ok outside?

Tertia, another fan of inside and outside voices- its a concept that kids can readily understand and it worked for my kids. Good luck.

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