General Question

limeaide's avatar

How to get kids to stop being so loud?

Asked by limeaide (1906 points ) August 1st, 2009

We have two boys ages 4 and 2. Sometimes they get so loud (screaming, screeching, yelling) I can hear my ear drums rattling. I’ve tried whispering to them to be quieter, I’ve tried raising my voice, I’ve tried time outs, I’ve tried trying to talk to them, taking them to a different part of the house etc… nothing seems to work. Do you have any sure fire ways to get them to not be so load?

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39 Answers

itsnotmyfault1's avatar

Teach them how to read.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

That, is one of the many reasons I chose not to have kids, is the incessant noise they create. Too bad you can’t harness it like the sun and use it as some form of energy to power the computer.

limeaide's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra to be honest for the most part this is something you get used to and can block out to a great degree. There are sometimes however when I have a headache and can’t block out that well. Plus the rare but occasional public outburst isn’t fun, but they seem to know not do it in public.

RandomMrdan's avatar

I have a pretty high tolerance for crying/making noise. I’d try explaining to them that it isn’t normal, and people will think they’re silly or something…maybe they’ll listen….?

I do like itsnotmyfault1’s suggestion.

MrGV's avatar

Take out your belt.

mrentropy's avatar

Back in the old days, giving them a sip of liquor used to cure all that. Worked wonders for getting them to sleep, too. You’ll get arrested for that now, and your children taken away.

limeaide's avatar

@itsnotmyfault1 @RandomMrdan I appreciate the answer but I’m not quite getting how teaching them to read would help this, could you elaborate how you think this would help? Thanks!

Facade's avatar

Send them outside or in another room. Get earplugs. Declare the space around you as “quiet space.”
I’m with @evelyns_pet_zebra with this being one of the many reasons I won’t be having children

mrentropy's avatar

Get them used to discipline early on. If short time outs don’t work, make them longer. Make them do a chore of some kind. Take away a toy. I have four step kids who have been deprived of discipline for most of their lives and it’s not good when they get older.

And my number one suggestion is: If you give them a punishment—stick to it. Nothing is worse than a parent who threatens and never follows through.

photographcrash's avatar

When I used to babysit my cousins, I would tell them that there was a monster that would come if they used their outdoor voices inside. Or we would play a game to see who could be quietest the longest. Those may work, if the kids are still young enough to buy it!

Zendo's avatar

The same answer as getting them to sleep…separate the two boys. They are feeding off of one another’s energy.

itsnotmyfault1's avatar

I worked with small kids at summer camps and day cares.
All day, was incessant screaming and yelling, and running and chaos. Except for two things. Nap time, and reading time. Complete silence.
Honestly, reading (to them, or having them read on their own), will keep them quieter than a mouthful of food (because, it turns out, you can bribe your silence with food).
I guess it’s that when you’re reading a book, you already are the center of attention, or maybe it’s because it takes your full attention, and even as an adult it’s a little difficult to hold a conversation while reading.
In “The Once and Future King” Merlin asserts that learning is the thing to do when other fun is not available.
Also, if one learns to read, the other generally struggles to keep up.
If one learns to love reading, the other might spend a lot of time doing the same.

Plus, if they’re being ridiculously loud, you might as well put the struggle to good use. (Teaching is hard. Especially with young, uncooperative pupils.) Two years is a little young for reading sometimes.
Reading could also be a punishment.
Plus, it’s probably more productive than whatever else they were doing.

If you could make a dedicated hour of reading every day, that’s pretty much an hour of blissful peace (and quiet).

casheroo's avatar

We are teaching my son to be quiet, and use his inside voice. It just takes patience and encouragement. If he continues to be riled up, not calming down or quieting, he will go in time out.

Supacase's avatar

I hate the loud screaming! I have found that if I sit down and read to my daughter for 15 minutes, it resets her system. Also, giving her a specific task that she enjoys to occupy her so she stops thinking about the screaming. When it is intolerable, I shut her in her room. It is a safe place. She screams more, but then settles down and plays.

When my daughter is with another child, she definitely feeds off of them and they run around screaming. It takes me a couple of weeks to “retrain” her if she has spent, say, a weekend with some girls her age who are allowed to run and scream.

I know two boys is a different story than one girl, though. My husband and his brother are 16 months apart and were, by all accounts, crazy. They drove their mother insane. He said he doesn’t remember what she did to calm them down, but did say you’re screwed. I hope he is wrong. You sound like you need a break. Will they let you give yourself a timeout?

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ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

@Ivan well if you hit them hard enough…

Bluefreedom's avatar

Duct tape.

Jack79's avatar

I was going to go for “hammer on the head”, but I think Bluefreedom’s duct tape can probably get the job done and won’t really harm them as much. Just make sure you chop off their hands first so they can’t take the duct tape off.

Personally the voice of children is melody to my ears. When I was with my last girlfriend and our daughters played together (both aged 3 at the time) she’d always get a headache and complain that they were too loud. I’d love to hear them talk, laugh, even shout and cry. It’s all part of growing up. Yes, you do need to eventually establish some rules (I set the rules the moment my daughter was born and did not wait for her to grow first). But she gets carried away around other kids, and I don’t want to spoil it for her. Overall it’s a positive experience for her, even when they’re fighting over a toy. And I always have the patience to sit down and explain rules of conduct, for example that it’s not so nice to mutilate your Barbie doll and use the arm to poke out the other girl’s eye.

rooeytoo's avatar

Ahhhhhhhh @Ivan and @Bluefreedom both used my answers!

augustlan's avatar

I had 3 children (all girls) within a 4 year time frame… I so feel your pain! Stifling such noise at all times is just not possible, but, you can teach them about ‘quiet time’. During quiet time, set them up in a non-physical activity. Reading, building with blocks, coloring, board games and puzzles (when they’re a little older), a movie, etc. What helped me a lot during those intense “Mommy just needs some peace and quiet!” times was to eliminate as much other noise as possible. No TV or radio on in the background.

To get into a routine with this, it helps to rotate quiet activities with loud, physical activities. Good luck!

ShanEnri's avatar

They’re at that age where noise is a part of life! Boys especially like being loud. Try separating them for a short time when they get too loud!

janbb's avatar

I would think there are times when you can tell them you have a headache and you need some quiet time. Then, as augustlan suggests, you can have some quiet activities to direct them to. Four and two are not too young to learn empathy and some consideration as long as they have plenty of other times – preferably outside in the yard – to be as loud as they want.

If you can afford it, you might want to consider taking them to a sitter one or two afternoons a week so you can have some down time. You sound slightly overloaded and with a new baby coming it might be good to get them out of the house a bit before the baby comes and continue the routine after. I did and it saved my sanity.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@Bluefreedom you stole my answer, which I had second thoughts about using because I didn’t want to look like an ogre. although, everyone knows that in a previous comment, I expressed the opinion that I thought ogres were kind of sexy.

mattbrowne's avatar

Suggest playing a fantasy game. Let the boys take the roles of scouts who have to sneak up to a camp full of bandits. They have to whisper to remain undetected and come up with a good plan. You could assume the role of the bandit.

Hatsumiko's avatar

Tape their mouths with duct tape.

DrBill's avatar

If you taught them discipline, they would respect you enough to be quite when you tell them.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@DrBill that’s quite an assumption you’re making – i’m sure the poster taught them discipline but it so happens that children at that age are not prim and proper robots and their screeching isn’t a sign of disrespect
@MrGeneVan and a belt, really? do you not like children?

Bluefreedom's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra. I was a little nervous about my answer too. Do you really find Shrek sexy? =)

YARNLADY's avatar

Two steps – first play the yelling game. You tell them the one who yells the loudest gets a prize (something they would like) and then put them in one end of the house while you go to the other end. They take turns yelling, and when they are done, you tell them it was a tie, and they both win.

Second play the quiet game. You sit in the same room with them and give a prize to the one who stays the most quiet. They don’t have to be silent, but just talk softly. Then give a prize to them both after a half hour or so.

Every time they make too much noise, repeat the games, and be sure to make the yelling game only last 15 or 20 minutes, and the quiet game for 30 minutes or more.

rooeytoo's avatar

I thought you were supposed to make sad faces at them, Yarnlady, you keep changing the tactics!

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@Bluefreedom not Shrek, especially, more like this one.

Bluefreedom's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra. I see a distinct difference and I can appreciate your taste in this selection.

YARNLADY's avatar

@rooeytoo That’s when they are trying to touch something they are not allowed to touch. As far as tactics are concerned, I have so many suggestions on how to teach children to behave without spanking, I could fill an entire book.

I’m uploading a picture of my sad/mad face so you can see why they obey.

rooeytoo's avatar

@YARNLADY – wow, that is pretty much my usual look, it sure doesn’t work on the little rowdys around here!!!

I am considering getting a bullwhip, not to use on them but to snap along side their ear, maybe that would get their attention!

YARNLADY's avatar

If that is your usual look, it explains why it doesn’t work. I have a very happy face that the kids like when they get a big hug, when they walk in the door, when they say please, thank you and excuse me, and every other time I can possibly reward them. They would much rather see the happy face Grandma than the sad face, because a happy Grandma means a happy boy. (It worked on my sons as well).

jonsblond's avatar

There will be a time in your life that you wish they were around to make all that noise. Enjoy it while you can. They will be off to college before you know it.

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