Can The Whisper Method of Parenting Work With My Child?
A few weeks ago I read an article about using the “whisper method” as a way to help calm a child that is upset, yelling or throwing a tantrum. After doing a little research, I decided to give it a try.
My kid is known for her loud mouth. And, when she gets angry or upset she’s usually extremely verbal about it.
She doesn’t exactly throw tantrums on the floor at Wal-Mart (thank God) but she certainly gets a voice about her that’s nearly impossible to talk over. I can’t say much as I have a tendency to get a bit loud when I’m fed up as well. It’s something we’re all working on.
But, I’ve never been able to find a way to pull her out of one of the “spells” without trying to yell over each other. So, when I came across this method I was certainly anxious to give it a shot.
What Is The Whisper Method?
The whisper method is as simple as it sounds. Instead of yelling over the top of your child in an argument or disagreement you whisper to them.
Whispering is supposed to force your child to lower their voice to be able to hear what you’re saying to them. This encourages them to speak in a lower tone also and leads to a calm, quiet conversation instead of a yelling match.
How It Works
I didn’t imagine it would take long to get an opportunity to try this method out, and I wasn’t wrong.
Temperance was mad as all get out because we didn’t make it to the park before the rain set in that day. She was tired and had been battling bronchitis for a few days now, so she was extra cranky to begin with.
She started yelling almost instantly when I told her that the park just wasn’t in the cards for today. We would have to try again tomorrow.
I told her I was sorry it didn’t work out today but I wasn’t going to talk to her while she was screaming at me. She flat out ignored me.
I could feel my irritation rising and my voice would be coinciding shortly, but remembering my research I changed tack.
The Power of Whispering
Instead, I said the same thing again using the whisper method so by voice was a near whisper.
I could barely hear myself over her and she yelled back. “What you say?!”
I whispered it again. The look in her eyes told me she thought I’d lost my mind but she did settle a little.
With less fire in her voice she said again, “What you say?” So I told her again.
“Okay. But why you whisperin’?” “Because when you’re yelling I can’t talk over you and you can’t hear me. You don’t listen to me very well when you’re screaming. I’m whispering so that you have to stop and listen to me. So, maybe, we can talk about this and find a way to make us both happy without either of us having to scream. Screaming makes my throat hurt and it gives me a headache.”
By now she is whispering back at me. “Okay, momma. I won’t do no more yellin’. I’ll sit down here and whisper ‘bout it instead.”
So, she sits down on the floor and I sit down beside her. We proceed to carry out a conversation entirely through hushed whispers – the magic of the whisper method at work!
Was it a little weird? Yea. Was it 10 million times better than a yelling match with a sassy three year old? God yes.
At one point my husband walked in on us, sitting on the kitchen floor talking in whispers and I’m quite certain he thought we were both crazy. But, I didn’t care. I’d explain it to him later. This was working!
My Outcome Using the Whisper Method
Temperance and I came to the conclusion that she didn’t really want to get her butt wet on the slide. Besides, she wouldn’t be able to play very well in the rain anyway.
We would go to the park tomorrow instead, so long as it didn’t rain. She was fine, I was fine and we were both giggling from the whispers before it was all said and done.
I have a “touch” of anxiety and I’m as strong-willed as she is so arguments just don’t turn out well. She’s left unhappy while I’m feeling frazzled, irritated and that I’m a crappy mother.
By using the whisper method and simply whispering my response to her the situation was quickly neutralized. She knew that I wasn’t going to yell and if she didn’t settle down herself she would be unable to hear me.
The only way to get her point across was to quiet down. The park fiasco was settled in a few minutes without either of us having to walk away feeling bad.
I’m sure this method won’t work every single time as none ever do. Sometimes we just are in a bad mood or experience a horror day and no “method” in the world will solve that. On those days you may just have to tough it out and wait for tomorrow.
But using the whisper method could be a wonderful place to start. Put a halt on the cycle of yelling at each other and give everyone involved a moment to just settle down.
What a wonderful way to show your children that disagreements and even arguments don’t require a raised voice or a raised hand.
You can still get your point across and resolve your situation by simply whispering. Heaven knows you might just enjoy yourself and have some real giggles with your little one!
My name is Andrea Thompson and I’m a home based freelance writer. I’m 23 years old, married to my best friend, and mother to a wonderfully independent and opinionated 3 year old girl and step-mother to a sweet seven year old boy. I live in a tiny, little town in Kentucky, where I spend my free time fishing with my kids.
Writing has always been my passion, which I followed through high school, and for a while in college. Life happened, and once I discovered we were pregnant, I switched directions; opting for the healthcare industry because of the stability.
Finally, years later, I was in a place where I could leave the day job that never truly made me happy, and pursue my dreams. I’ve built, and am still building, my writing career from scratch. But, I’m passionate and I’m good at what I do. And, in the end, I can prove to my daughter that she can do anything she wants with this life.