14 answers

How to Get My 2 Year Old to Use Indoor Voice?

I have a 2-year old boy who has always seemed to have a higher volume level when he talks. Daddy is the same way but obviously knows how to control the volume level of his voice! We have a newborn in the house and his constant chattering at sometimes deafening levels wakes her up - not to mention it's just exhausting to hear that all day long. His hearing is just fine, so we know it's not that.

Two questions:
1. What are some methods you mamas have used to encourage an "indoor" voice?

2. How can I teach him to stop talking? Right now, he chatters non-stop and repeats things over and over until we acknowledge him and then sometimes continues. We are to blame for this habit because as we were teaching him to talk, we would constantly narrate what was going on - which is exactly what he does now. Now we need to teach him how to be (and stay) quiet when we ask. I understand there are limitations because he is 2, after all. What has worked for you mamas??


1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks to everyone for the great advice! However, nothing seems to be working so far. I think we just need to accept the fact that he is a loud child and hopefully our baby girl can just learn to live with the noise.

Featured Answers

Teach him to be loud like an Elephant-outside, use a soft voice like a feather-inside, and be quite like a mouse-inside liabrary, ect. Sometimes definitions like these and frequent reminders help. Good luck.

More Answers

Getting them to use the correct voice actually requires them experimenting with the other voices that they have. Decide what kinds of voices that you need him to have----quiet voice (for church and things like that), an inside voice, an outside voice and I even have a library voice (different from the quiet voice because they can talk just a little louder). Then let them use those voices. Go outside and have everyone use their best outside voice and practice them. Then do the same with each of their voices. Then after he understand the differences you can start asking him to use a certain voice and model it too when you ask and expect him to use that voice. If he doesn't use that voice then there needs to be a consequence---only one story instead of two or something appropriate for the situation. Show him the range of things that this wonderful gift can do and show him the proper use of it and he will do wonderful.
J.--SAHM of 6

1 mom found this helpful

I am laughing like crazy reading your post- let us know what works for you- I have 3 yr old twins, one of which is the same way-- has been since he started talking!

I also have a baby he will wake up! I feel for you!

Quietly tell him to use his inside voice. I agree if you whisper he will in turn whisper back. I have tried this and it works. As for the chattering, good luck. Maybe if you acknowledge him sooner and don't repeat he will pick up on this and stop.

I feel your pain! My 3 1/2 year old chatters nonstop, and my 1 year old has just gotten into yelling. With the two of them yelling at each other, yelling for me, and just generally yelling, it gets pretty noisy at our house!

1. We remind them about indoor voices. I demonstrate for the kids "(whispering) This is an indoor voice. (yelling) This is an outdoor voice." I also tell them that if they want to use an outside voice, they need to go outside. Sometimes they go out on the back deck and holler, or do a lap around the back yard, and that's okay. We can't just tell our kids "NO;" I think we need to teach them healthy, socially-acceptable ways to get their squirreliness out.

2. When my kids start yelling, I whisper. I just started this in the past week or so, and I am totally amazed. I used to match them shout for shout, trying to be heard over the noise, and it just got horrible. Now I whisper, and within a few minutes, they start trying to hear me, then they start whispering too.

3. For the non-stop talking, we have started "quiet time." When I tell my daughter it is quiet time, she needs to stop talking. If she refuses to stop talking, then she can go talk to herself in her room. (Which she has done; it's hilarious!) If we are in the van and she won't stop talking, I turn on the radio and turn it up so I don't have to listen to her. She usually gets sick of the loud music after a minute or two and asks me to turn it down. I will warn you that we started this with my three year old. I'm not sure that a 2 year old is quite "there" yet. You will have to see how your own daughter responds.

Best of luck,

Teach him to be loud like an Elephant-outside, use a soft voice like a feather-inside, and be quite like a mouse-inside liabrary, ect. Sometimes definitions like these and frequent reminders help. Good luck.


When my boys were little we made a habit for a while of being very loud and boisterous outside, but when we were inside we talk very normal and quiet.

Plus when they were asked to play quieter or be quiet so as not to wake the baby, and they didn't they were stood in the corner for a few minutes every time they didn't comply, they finally got the idea.

But the inside and outside voice works if you practically shout when you are outside and talk very low normal when inside. They finally get the idea.
Good Luck

I laughed as I read this, too.

Our approach is similar to Julie's. I have 2 very loud boys.

I encourage them to use their "loud voice" when we are outside at the park or playing in the backyard.

I remind them to use their "normal voice" instead of their "loud voice" when we are inside.

And they use a "quiet voice" when needed - like the library or around a sleeping baby.

As for the chattering, we haven't really been able to reign that in so well. Basically, for the most part, we tolerate it as much as we can. Or we'll pass him off to the parent who has more patience at that moment. And they really talk to each other the most. When it is truly too much, we just ask for quiet time.


1. There are some wonderful reading books out there about being LOUD and being quiet. This will give your son more visionals and another voice to listen to (you may be sounding like a broken record to him)

2. Appreciate that your son is excited to share. Make sure that he knows that you heard him. Teach him that everyone gets to have a turn to talk. It makes it more enjoyable that way.

Wishing you all the best.
With my whole heart,
C. TLC (Transition Life Coach)

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