Kids Being Loud? Here's What To Do - Baby Chick
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Kids Being Loud? Here’s What To Do

Frustrated by kids being loud? Here are 8 reasons why children can seem so noisy - and how to reduce it without losing your patience.

Updated July 9, 2024

by Rachel Tomlinson

Registered Psychologist

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My six-year-old doesn’t seem to have a volume button. Like many kids being loud, she is noisy from sunup to sundown. It’s a constant stream of chatting, singing, tap dancing, clicking, and tapping. She even talks in her sleep. At times it feels like there is no escape from the wall of noise.

By the end of the day, or if I’m feeling frazzled, the endless clatter and clamor can leave me feeling overwhelmed and, at times, pretty escalated. Sometimes I need space to hear myself think or process things, or even just a moment to settle and calm. So, if you’re like me and want to know why kids can be so loud and how you can gently and compassionately get them to lower the volume, keep reading!

Reasons Why Kids Are Being Loud

There are eight reasons our kids are being loud:1,2

1. They Don’t Realize They’re Being Loud

Kids being loud is often not intentional. At times, our little ones don’t realize how loud they are being. Or that their volume is impacting other people.

2. They’ve Got the Energy to Burn

They are full of energy, and the volume of their voice can express this. Their excitement can also be shown by big movements or by being loud.

3. They’re Being Loud to Be Heard

Sometimes our little people feel like they aren’t being heard. So, they may increase their volume to be included in conversations.

4. They’re Overwhelmed

It’s easy for our kids to become dysregulated. So much is new, and they are constantly learning and taking things in, so they can quickly become overwhelmed. And so, their voices can increase alongside their escalation. As their nervous system matures, they will better manage big feelings or how they respond to lots of stimulation or input from their environment.

5. Kids Being Loud is Something They Control

Our kids don’t control much, but they can control their voice – including the volume. So, this may be a way they try to express themselves or get some kind of autonomy.

6. They’re Learning Inside vs. Outside Voices

Children learn their limits and what is acceptable in different spaces and areas and with other people. So they haven’t yet learned the difference between inside and outside voices or that certain places require them to be quieter.

7. They are Copycats

Kids copy us and those around them, so they may model what they see and hear.

8. Or It’s Something More

Hearing loss is something to watch for. Be on the lookout for them not turning to noises or asking you or others to repeat themselves. This is something to rule out and check with your doctor or trusted health professional about.

What To Do When Kids Are Being Loud

Our little ones are being loud for many reasons, but it’s essential for them to learn there are certain times (or settings) when they need to reduce the volume. Having some strategies to manage when your child is being too loud is important.3,4,5

  • Have a conversation about volume. Don’t always bring up their volume when kids are being loud, as we don’t want them to become too sensitive to this. So, find time to chat with them about places or settings that require a lower voice or how some people can feel about loud noises.
  • Create a code word that represents the need to turn the volume down. That way, you aren’t contributing to the noise by engaging in conversation, but if you are escalated, it might be tempting to yell or raise your voice to be heard. Having a code word takes some stress out of the situation.
  • Use a soft, calm voice when asking them to lower their volume as an example of what you expect. And, in general, model the volume you would expect them to use. So, for example, leave the room and walk up to someone to talk to them rather than shouting through the house for them to respond.
  • Praise them when they use an appropriate volume so they aren’t just receiving negative feedback. This will help them learn in a more positive way what you expect of them. Positive reinforcement is an incredibly powerful tool in our parenting toolbox.
  • Identify escalating triggers and remove them (either the triggers or your child – as appropriate).

How Can You Redirect Your Kids When They’re Being Loud?

Here are three ways you can redirect your child when they’re being loud:3,4

1. Whisper When You Speak to Them

They will automatically have to reduce their volume to hear you and are more likely to tune into your wavelength and copy your tone/pitch/volume, as our little people like to imitate us. It’s also subconscious to mirror or copy people you are conversing with. We can mirror their body postures and even the pace (how fast) and volume (how loud) of the other person’s voice.

2. Schedule Time for Kids to Be Loud

Make sure that if your child is naturally chatty or vocal, they have a chance to express themselves via their volume! This could be putting on music for them to sing and dance to or taking them outside or to a place where they can make as much noise as they like.

3. Find Another Outlet for Their Energy

If they are being loud because they are overwhelmed, find a way to express themselves and get that energy out in a more pro-social way. It could be running on the spot, jumping, or dancing their wiggles out.

Tips on How to Survive When Your Kids are Being Loud

It’s vital that we don’t squash our child’s self-expression, make them feel like we don’t want to hear them, or aren’t interested in what they are doing. But we must also protect our well-being and senses from the sheer volume. So, what are some survival strategies?3,4

1. Tune In and Out as Necessary

Take the pressure off yourself to respond to every noise. It’s okay to tune out things like tapping and clicking or when your child is simply narrating their play. Try to retain some energy to respond and tune in when they need your attention or for you to engage with them.

2. Ignore Shouting

I’m not saying ignore your child; if there is a safety issue, respond appropriately, but respond when they engage with you properly. They will soon learn they get more attention from you when they are speaking calmly.

3. Turn Down Other Noises in the Background

If you can’t (or don’t want to) control or change your child’s noise, then it can help if you reduce other sources of stimulation. Turn off the TV in the background, or close windows or doors to shut out noise from neighbors or the street.

4. Invest in Noise-Cancelling Headphones

It can take the edge off to pop some headphones on. You don’t need to listen to anything, but having headphones can dull some background noise to a more manageable level.

Identifying any triggers or things that influence your kids being loud is critical. You can support your child positively by addressing something that might be escalating or distressing them or giving them other strategies to help manage. Learning to control their volume is an important life skill. We all learn that we need to be quiet to be respectful in certain circumstances, but also to be respectful to other people around us.

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Rachel Tomlinson Registered Psychologist
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Rachel Tomlinson is a registered psychologist and internationally published author of Teaching Kids to Be Kind who has worked with adults, families, and children (birth through eighteen years old) in… Read more

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