"'Your Inside Voice'"

July 22, 2022

Modern parents can make you nostalgic for the good old days.

You know, those were the days when children went outside to play and basically did not see their mother for a solid 8 hours (except when she made them a nutritious bologna sandwich on white bread, which were wolfed down before running back out the door).

In contrast, self-conscious and very involved parenting is the rule these days.

Spend a few minutes in a public setting such as the supermarket or a local café’ and you may hear variations on the following:

 

  • “Now, Hayden…you know that is not your indoor voice, is it Hayden?” (While Hayden runs around the café yelling.)
  • “Remember Connor please do not run ahead, okay? (Connor has already blown off his mom.)
  • “Molly, you know you should not use your whining voice.” (Your whining voice???)
  • “Emma, where are your listening ears?” (Hmmm???”)
  • “William, don’t you think it is time we started our homework?” (Wait, you have homework too?)
  • Noah, I think it is time we went to bed, isn’t it?” (We??)
  • It’s time for us to brush our teeth, Ava?  (Trying to picture combined teeth.)

Compliance between parent and child can be complicated by many variables affecting the outcome.

Very often sender of the message (i.e., the parents) are sending a weak, low-level message/command conveying insecurity likely to be ignored by the child.

In attempts to be nice and overly measured  while worrying about the child “self-esteem,” the message is not clear or direct enough.

(More next week.)


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All comments (2)
  • Joy Fisher
    July 23, 2022 at 11:06 am

    I'm 67, never married but aunt to 9, great aunt to 5. Was on church nursery duty when a 2 year old, upset her dad […] Read MoreI'm 67, never married but aunt to 9, great aunt to 5. Was on church nursery duty when a 2 year old, upset her dad left her, progressed from crying to angry hysterics. (Anger is key word.) 4 other moms on duty, couldn't distract or comfort her. I finally put my arms gently around her & told her it was ok to miss her dad & cry but it was not ok to tell & scream. Told her if she continued, she'd have to sit in the corner. Asked if she wanted to have to sit there & she sniffed "no". Told her she could calm herself & play. She worked on it & ended up coloring. But I've had the stink eye from her h those mom's ever since. Oh well. Read Less

    Reply
    • Richard Selznick, Ph.D.
      @Joy Fisher
      July 23, 2022 at 11:36 am

      Great story, Joy. Thanks for sharing it. I think you were right on the money in many ways and I bet yu have […] Read MoreGreat story, Joy. Thanks for sharing it. I think you were right on the money in many ways and I bet yu have the proverbial "stink eye" on you!!! Read Less

      Reply

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