PROUD parent Jess Martini is determined that she never wants to shush her kids just for showing excitement and enthusiasm – even if others see the same behaviour as ‘difficult’.
Talking on Tiktok, where she shares her adventures parenting a boisterous young son, she suggests that we should stop persecuting children by labelling them them as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ when what we might actually be seeing is natural variations in individual personalities.
“POV: you’re a kid trying to tell a story you’re excited about,” she captions one video, before admonishing with “Shhh you’re too loud”, “Settle down” and “Why are you yelling?”
She predicts the child’s response as: “Oh sorry – I’m being annoying again”, “I didn’t mean to yell” and heartbreakingly, “I don’t want to tell the story anymore.”
She adds, “This feeling is why I don’t shush my kids now”.
She recommends that stressed parents ask themselves whether the noisy child is really being naughty, or if they are just overstimulated.
“Are they difficult or naturally confident? Are they being ‘too much’ or [just] enthusiastic? Is he a bad kid or just high energy and curious? Is she the problem child or strong willed?”
Plus even the so-called children might not really be the angels they appear, but just naturally “mild-mannered and easy-going”.
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Yet what about those extreme circumstances when the decibels have risen so much that it feels like anyone within a 100 mile radius might need to reach for the ear plugs?
Skeptical parents wondered whether resolving never to shout at their children was really good practise – and challenged Jess to give her response.
“Is it actually a disruptive amount of noise or are they just a little bit excited, a little bit passionate, a little bit louder than normal?” she questions, “[because] there’s really no reason that we need to go shushing when they’re not being disruptive,” she says.
Instead of shushing her kids, ordering them to stop yelling and creating a fearful atmosphere where they no longer want to share their stories, she has a technique to stop them heightening the volume naturally.
“If it’s a disruptive level of noise then it’s okay to say, ‘I’m really excited about your story and wanna hear it – I’m having a little bit of trouble hearing it though as it’s a little too loud. Can we lower the volume so I can hear it better, as I’m really excited about this story too?'” she explains.
As a reminder, she adds that she should stop labelling kids based on their behaviour as “the words we use for [them] set the tone for their inner voice… there’s beauty in all temperaments or personalities!”
Next time you have a noisy child and are internally cursing that they don’t have a volume switch, consider this tip and perhaps with a little patience, both mum and kids can reach mutual happiness.
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