Let’s explore the importance of using our ‘voice’ to engage kids in motivating ways…
Ever try to listen to someone with a loud, high, nasal-sounding voice? How about someone who talks with no inflection in their voice or who talks too fast for you to grasp what they’re saying? We all have…and what do we do? We tune these voices out as fast as we can.
The same is true with kids, only they can tune out faster because they are not ‘programmed’ to be consideration, politeness, and accommodation….all the more reason why we should consider our voices as tools for engaging kids’ attention. Babies hear loud voices and they react with crying. Toddlers hear a loud, demanding tone in an adult’s voice and they ‘don’t listen’ or they throw a tantrum in order to cope with the stress. Kids in school hear a shrieking high voice on the school intercom and they start talking amongst themselves to drown out the disturbance. VOICE MATTERS . . .
If you find yourself talking louder and louder to get kids’ attention, they will come to expect that. Try shifting to softer, slower tones that will force kids to tune in. Try using enthusiasm in your voice to capture attention…and then work to keep that attention by asking questions, pausing between important points, and shifting your voice from high to low, loud to soft. Watch what happens!
Great parents and great teachers know, and use, the power of ‘the voice’ . . .