My 5 Year Old SON Is Very Loud and Disruptive!

Updated on June 26, 2009
V.D. asks from Delaplane, VA
8 answers

Hi there, I'm hoping someone has been through something similar. I have 3 sons, ages 5, 3, and 2. The 5 year old (starting kindergarten this fall) sort of takes over everything. At dinner, he talks very loudly almost nonstop so we can't really carry on a conversation between my husband and I, or listen to the younger ones. If I ask the younger ones a question, the 5 year old answers, and basically talks loudly all the time, and wants all the attention (of course!). I ask him to speak in a "restaurant voice", "inside voice," etc... but he reverts back to (its almost a yelling type voice in most cases -- in the car, stores, at home, etc). So much that I have a hard time thinking when I'm with him. He isn't mean or argumentative, it's more of a "look at me" or "nothing matters but me" kind of attitude.

Yes, I specifically had his hearing testing and he has perfect hearing (which I was happy about, but very surprised!).

I feel like my little ones are missing out on a lot of attention. Plus the 5 year old causes the younger two to cry often because their big brother bosses them around (what's new?). He is super one on one, and loves to come to work with me, there's some sort of behavior caused/created by all 3 boys together.

Anyhow -- any help / tips / insight to this kind of behavior?!! I am tired of saying "be quiet" and "stop talking" and don't want him to be yelled at (by me) so much!

THanks MUCH!

2 moms found this helpful

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So What Happened?

Ladies, thank you so much for your heartfelt advice! Yes, his hearing is fine, which was a disappointment and relief at the same time. I took a mix of your advice, and spoke to my son alone, quietly about how everyone wants to talk and needs to be heard, and how important it is to listen to otehrs. I told him that his brothers (ages 3 and 2) need to have their turn to talk. At dinner, we started having them raise their hands to talk, just to get into the habit of taking turns. It was silly at first, one would raise their hand and ask something ridiculous, like "why is that light on?" But they got used to taking turns, which was the point. We're not raising hands anymore, but if it gets out of hand, I start that again. And the oldest seemed to take to heart my private conversation with him about talking quieter and not answering for his brothers (thank GOD!). Of course, as the oldest, he is always a little domineering of them, but it has improved greatly! And I don't feel like my head is going to explode any more.... thanks Moms!!!

More Answers



answers from Washington DC on

I hate to say it,but it is a typical 5-6 yr old behavior with an oldest child. And yes, it is really hard to give the younger ones the attention they should have. I have a 7 yr old (almost 8) and 6 1/2 yr old. We struggle with this a lot. We taught the younger one to say "please, xxxx let me talk or you are interupting me. That has helped. The other thing is that when I pick them up at daycare the youngest is who I talk to first. If the oldest starts speaking then I remind him to wait. We also spend a lot time with our youngest at bedtime, cuddling, talking, and reading in order to give her that attention. The loud thing is also a boy thing at this age.

Hope this helps, it isn't much but at least you know you aren't alone.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

My daughter (who turned 5 in April) has similar tendencies. I will share some of what is working for me - there has been an improvement, although she needs lots of reminders. The problem I was having really centered around her not letting me talk to her sister, and the fact that her sister is not yet talking - this really clarified for me how little opportunity she gets because her older sister so dominates.

I started by finding a quiet moment with her and asked her about how she and her sister (15 months) are different. I told her about all the special times she and I had together before her sister was born. And that I needed to give her sister some of that same special listening time. Then I told her that I needed her to help me with the baby - she needs help learning to talk and share and I think she is having a hard time because my older one likes to talk so much and is so enthusiastic.

Basically, I was up front and honest - I told her she needs to share the talking time more and she needs to be quieter. I told her if I felt she coulnd't pay attention to those "rules" then I would ask her to go be by herself for a while. Then, I do follow-through. If she interrupts, I ask her to remember to calm down her volume or give others an opportunity If she continues to pester/be loud/dominate I do ask her to leave and call her back after a couple minutes. She got upset once or twice but got the idea pretty quickly.

I also used the point that if you do this behavior with your friends (being domineering) they won't want to play with you.

I think if you make it about sharing time and being fair, it is easier for them to understand, compared ot making it all about talking or noise or loudness. It is easier for you to say "Share and let someone else talk" is better than saying "Don't talk." Also, don't just do it in the heat of the moment but at a quiet time explain what you need to him one-on-one.

Can you believe kindergarten came so soon? :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

My stepdaughter is like this and there were times she dominated the dinner table so much that her brother would just shut up and stop participating. We try to mediate the conversations by allowing each family member to talk, reminding the others that they will get a turn and going back to that person when it is their turn. It's gotten better over time, I think both from instilling rules about "sharing" the table and from the child's maturity. You can also give him 5 minutes with a timer to tell his day uninterrupted.

When I would answer for my sister, my mother would tell me to stop and if I did not allow her to talk for herself, *I* would be in trouble. Then she went back to asking my sister the question again. I did time out more than once for not heeding this warning.

My husband also used the "penny cup" at the table. If the kids acted up, he got the cup off the counter and emptied it on the table. There were maybe 5 pennies. That was warning #1. For each infraction after that, the kid got another penny and when all were in the cup, they lost dessert or had to leave the table (and for a kid who wants the limelight, this was punishment enough). It worked really well when we had company, too, because once the kids understood, he didn't need to say much.



answers from Washington DC on

Being a teacher working with young children I have taught children that strive to gain all the attention and what has worked best for me in my classroom, and with my own children is to ignore the behavior totally. When he begins to talk very loudly I would not say ANYTHING to him because he is doing it for attention.Do not tell him to be quiet don't even give him eye contact just continue to talk to you other children(I know this can be hard to do) children at this age to not know the difference between negetive and positive attention so if you are telling him to be quiet that is attention to him. It will take a while before this works and he will try you your going to notice that he will get louder so that you will respond to him but trust me if you are consistant in a few days he will see this is not getting him what he wants and he will stop. When he does stop give him alot of praise and attention for maintaining and quiet voice. He will begin to understand that the negitive behavior gets him nothing, he will change his behavior to gain your attention and praise.

Good Luck,
K. G



answers from Washington DC on

First have his hearing checked. After that proves to be okay I would address some issues. One thing it may be is that he is the oldest and may feel neglected in comparison to the younger children. Its a possibility that he feels that he has to compete. Giving him some special alone time as the oldest(maybe a mommie and son day) maybe a way to solve that issue.

I have a five year old son who is very loud at all times. He also talks non-stop and repeats himself until you acknowledge him in the manner that he feels is acceptable. We have started to explain to him that there are indoor and outdoor voices. If he is above the level that he should be,I simply say indoor voice please and he trys to lower it. However, this is very short spanned and he goes right back to the loud talking. However he is trying. I am hoping that with the constant "indoor" reminders it will eventually become second nature to him.

Hope this helps,




answers from Norfolk on

Wow my daughter sounds just like your son. I also had her hearing checked and mine. She has perfect hearing, and I have sensitive hearing (I was told).. With her younger brother of 2 years she was bossy, loud and disruptive. The only thing I did was to make sure I had one on one with her brother...and it was so nice to have some "quite" time with him. She soke for him, answered, was loud and wanted all the attention. I believe like her, he is fighting for his "alpha-male" position in the family. Dont think there will be much you can do about that other than create games (like we did)..."who can be quite the longest"...and of course she always wanted to win....Good luck...She to this day is the center of attention when it comes to family groups....


answers from Norfolk on

Has his hearing been tested? You need to make sure he doesn't have a hearing problem. He's going to have a hard time in kindergarten if he can't learn to use an inside voice. Have him practice keeping his voice down (whispering, even), and to a small degree, not speaking until he is spoken to. Kids his age need to learn to be quiet when adults are talking (or on the phone), and have him raise his hand (like in a classroom) when he has something to say, and wait until he's given permission to speak. Have him work on some activity which keeps him busy but doesn't need talking - like coloring books or drawing pictures. As the younger kids see how it works, they should be eased into it as well. Once he knows the rules, if he breaks them, he'll need to be in time out. If could be a hard summer, but if he learns this now he'll be in great shape for kindergarten. Something I like to do is to listen to pleasant quiet sounds. I get a CD of rain sounds, babbling brook or even wind chimes and have the kids just get use to listening for quiet sounds sometimes. Some of the toys have noises/sound effects that are pretty loud - I put stickers over the speaker areas to tone them down. Turn down the volume on the TV and video games, too.


answers from Washington DC on

Hello! Have you had his hearing checked?

Having three boys - I'm sure you have a circus! :) Albeit a fun one!

I would have his hearing checked and talk with your pediatrician.

You don't say what the gap is in age is. My suggestion would be to put him in charge of something - something ONLY he can do and create a big fuss when he does it well! As long as it's not his younger brothers - is there something around the house he can do that the younger ones can't do? Something that will take him away from them for a little while and just be by himself?

I'm sure it's frustrating to have to tell your son "be quiet" - when my youngest starts yelling because he's excited, I use my hands and go from the top to bottom (without telling him BE QUIET) - you know the "lower" hand sign - therefore, I'm not telling him to be quiet out loud.

Take care!

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