How to Teach Your Child to Whisper

As a parent, few things are more embarrassing than your child screaming in a public place 1. Children love to be loud, and they yell whether they're having fun or feuding with a sibling or friend. Kids don't always know the difference between whispering and talking a bit too loudly, so your child may need you to help her understand. When you teach your child what whispering means and how to use her "inside voice," she's more likely to stay quiet when asked.

Model the behavior you want to see in your child. Whisper to him when appropriate, such as when you're in the library, at your house of worship or visiting Grandma in a nursing home.

Explain to your child why she needs to whisper. If she doesn't understand the word "whisper," call it something else, such as her "quiet voice" or "inside voice."

Ask your child to practice saying something in a whisper, then saying something loudly. This teaches her the difference between soft and loud speech.

Put your finger up to your lips and say "shhh" or "quiet" when you want your child to whisper. She'll eventually learn to associate this sign with whispering.

Set aside a quiet time each day when no one in your home watches TV, uses the computer or plays music. Use the time to bond as a family. Read books or talk quietly with your child. Make it a rule that your child mustn't scream or talk loudly during this period.

Give your child plenty of positive attention, affection and praise. When children don't get what they need, they tend to misbehave to attract attention from you.

Take your child outdoors if he feels like being loud. Let your child scream outside so he doesn't feel the need to do it indoors. If you ask him to whisper indoors, tell him that you'll have to take him outside if he doesn't obey your request.

Ask your child if loud talking bothers her when she's studying or trying to read a book. If she admits that it does, ask her how she thinks other people feel when she refuses to talk quietly.

Keep your child busy so that she doesn't feel the need to talk loudly or scream. This is especially important when you're in a confined area with little for her to do, such as on an airplane or in the car.


Don't yell at your child for failing to whisper. This only models the bad behavior that you want to avoid.