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Vocal Volume Control

Kids can be loud. They shriek and shout when they're excited or want to be heard, not realizing that a normal voice works just as well, says Celia Hooper, Ph.D., a speech-language pathologist at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. To help:

Speak softly. When you ask your child to be more quiet, say it at the volume level you want her to use. This gives her something to mimic.

Tell her why she can turn it down. Say "I'm standing right next to you, so you don't need to yell." It will help her gauge distance and understand how her voice carries.

Cover your ears and say "Ouch! Your loud voice is hurting my ears!" This shows her she needs to quiet down before you'll listen.

Don't say \"Use your inside voice.\" Truth is, sometimes a loud voice indoors is okay  -- like during an emergency or a celebration. It's better to be specific: "I want you to whisper when the baby's sleeping."