How old were your kids when you could reliably get them to intentionally keep the volume of their voices down?
Generally speaking, somewhere between 4 and 5, with a few reminders here and there. That’s when they can begin to discriminate situational appropriateness, and they really understand that a voice that’s okay for the playground isn’t okay at the dinner table.
Then they hit the tweens, and self-awareness of vocal volume goes right out the f’ing window. I think they regain it somewhere in their early 20s.
My kids are 12 and 14. Haven’t gotten there yet.
One of my coworkers is in his 40s and he still hasn’t got it yet. He is otherwise a really bright guy and I have a lot of respect for him, but it borders on painful if you happen to sit next to him in a conference room and he starts talking.
My nephew has control of it…he’s almost 3. His brother is around 2, and he’s not quite there yet.
Try setting the example…don’t yell at them when they yell. Ask them to speak softly in a soft voice; of course this is once they are old enough to understand you. They are imitators…not real good at following commands.
I’m in my mid-40’s and still have times I struggle to use an “indoor voice”.
This is more of a poll than a factual question, and is better suited to IMHO than GQ.
General Questions Moderator
A lot of people never learn to control their volume. I’ve known my BF’s nieces and nephews since they were 7, 6 and 1 (they are now 13, 12, and 7)- they haven’t changed at all since that time, the oldest still too loud sometimes but mostly has modulates her voice appropriately, the middle has always been a quiet kid, and the baby yells 24/7 with no signs of learning how to have an ‘indoor voice’ (even though he’s constantly told to be quieter). I think he’ll still be yelling in people’s ears when he’s 30, poor guy.
Ok, but I should note that though I worded it in terms of “how old was your kid” what I was also hoping for was something objective. I should have asked for that out loud, though.
As a children’s librarian, I can tell you that for most kids it’s between 3 & 4. I don’t have a cite - that’s just my personal experience. And of course there is a great deal of variation. Some whole families are loud. I don’t remember my own son being especially loud before he learned to modultate his voice, but he has parents who rarely speak above a quiet conversational volume, using carefully modulated and precisely inflected voices, so the hidden barbs and passive-aggressive insults yield maximum effect.
I’m embarrassed to say that I’m in my 40s and still sometimes I’m told to keep my voice down by coworkers in my office.
My own kids, in their twenties and teens now, were always soft-spoken and had to be encouraged to speak up all through elementary school. Too much self-consciousness, perhaps.
A guy I used to work with was still an overly-loud talker in his forties. Terrific person to know, always willing to share technical knowledge, but he did drive some co-workers batty. He had grown up with a mother who was partially deaf; to get noticed he had to shout.
I find it totally depends on the mother. Loud mother who doesn’t have an inside voice? The kids never learn it, either.
What about the father?
I have 2 kids and one is naturally loud and one is quiet. I am constantly telling my 6 year old “indoor voice, please” while the younger one is sometimes so quiet I can’t hear him from the backseat of the car.