24 Aug
Can You Hear Me Now?

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

How do I get my almost 3-year-old son to talk in an inside voice? He narrates everything he does AT THE TOP OF HIS LUNGS and it’s making me crazy.


Going Deaf in Austin


Dear Going Deaf in Austin,

Ah, the joys of having a 3-year-old. There you are, simply trying to pee in a public restroom with your child in the stall, when suddenly the kid booms out louder than LAX’s PA system, “WOW, MOMMY! YOU SURE HAVE A LOT OF HAIR IN YOUR PRIVATE PARTS! YOU LOOK LIKE A STUFFED BUNNY! DO YOU WANT SOME CAWWOTS DOWN THERE?” Or at least that’s what I heard happened to a friend of mine one time at the Target she no longer frequents.

Now assuming there isn’t a hearing issue and that all of his well-child visits have been fine, I’d say that this is perfectly normal. As the mother of two boys, I spent many years living with loud and proud toddlers who never, ever stopped talking. Eventually, I learned to tune it out. Much like my dad could completely ignore a nuclear disaster if he happened to be watching Monday Night Football when the missiles hit. I don’t know, maybe it’s genetic.

If you find it hard to do this, however, keep reminding him that he’s being too noisy, as he certainly doesn’t realize it himself. Boys get very excited about everything and sometimes they have a hard time controlling their enthusiasm. Loud talking is also part of his growing independence and a way for him to assert himself and be heard. While it’s for sure annoying, like all things toddler, it’ll soon pass.

Finally, one thing I used to do before we went to a quiet place like the library was to tell the boys to “get their noises out.” While I stood outside the car at a safe distance, they’d yell and scream inside the car and have a grand old time being crazy. It always worked like a charm and they were then happy to use their inside voices for upwards of 30 glorious minutes.

I hope this helps. If not, just wait for the day when he’s a teenager and doesn’t want to talk to you at all.


Wendi, TMH

7 Responses to “Can You Hear Me Now?”


Comment by Kay.

I LOVE the “getting the noises out” idea. Wonder if that will work on the teenager, if I told him to “get the attitude out” before coming in the house??? Probably not.
One thing I found that worked was whispering. Talking so low that he had to watch my face and concentrate to hear me, for some reason, calmed him down some. It turned into a game pretty quickly, when I started to whisper, so did he… and I always let him scream/yell/be an animal afterwards, when we were safely outside.


Comment by hokgardner.

I love the idea of getting the noises out. I’ll give it a try.

Now if I can only get him to stop asking me “why” eleventy-billion times a day.


Comment by Pollyanna.

My three year old thinks that when I say, “Be quiet,” it means to start whispering. I actually mean stop talking, but she just doesn’t get it.

I guess I should be greatful she doesn’t interpret my statement as a reason to display an act of defiance and just get louder.


Comment by Andrea's Sweet Life.

Ok, this is *not* just about boys. My 5 year old has been using her outside voice for, like, 3 years. Except when other people are around, she’s shy and so no one believes me.


Comment by MommyTime.

My 3 yr old daughter is the exact same way. I send her and her brother outside to “get the crazies out” before we have to go into good behavior places like the library — but this has always meant the running around crazies, not the voice crazies. I can’t wait to try it with loud voices too, which I think is brilliant. Thank you.

(Also, to “Going Deaf,” do be sure to get his ears checked. The vast majority of kids are just going through a loud age at 3, but I do know one woman who found out her daughter had so much fluid in her ears that she could hardly hear a thing. Once the ears were fixed, the shouting stopped.)


Comment by hokgardner.

I’m “Going Deaf” and I can say with all certaintly there’s nothing wrong with the boy’s hearing. He can be in the next room and hear me whisper “ice cream” and show up demanding some.

He just likes to be loud. In face, two minutes ago I told him he needed to be quiet, and his response was, in a whisper, “I want to be woud. Pease mama, pease?”


Comment by Ashley.

So, this:

Made me think of this response:

“No thank you, honey. Mommy prefers big cucumbers.”

Is that wrong? 🙂

Also, I LOVE the ‘get the noises out’ idea. I may even share that with my daycare providers!

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