Home » Blogs » Childhood Behavioral Concerns » Kids Who Don’t Have “Volume” Buttons

Kids Who Don’t Have “Volume” Buttons

The number of times a day I ask my youngest child to “turn down her volume” is ridiculous. She’s so loud all the time, even when she doesn’t need to talk over people.

Granted, this same child is the one who roars like a lion, howls like a wolf, and regularly runs in circles when she’s excited. But still, the yelling is weird… right?

Actually, for her age, the EXTREMELY LOUD TALKING is completely normal. Kids between the ages of three and five often speak at abnormally high volumes because of the way they’re developing socially. They’ve finally learned how to communicate their wants/needs/feelings with words, but they haven’t yet learned how to do so in a way that’s socially appropriate.

Social cues really don’t start to develop until age five or six. Kindergarten teachers will tell you that a lot of their students start the year as preschoolers and end the year as “big kids.” There’s a huge transition that happens during that year, and it’s not just from exposure to social situations. (Though, that does speed up the process.)

The difficult part of this developmental milestone is that some kids never seem to hit it. Have you ever known a nine-year-old who is SO LOUD that it’s almost overwhelming?

Me, too! But the reasons they’re loud aren’t always the same.

My seven-year-old godson is one of the loudest kids I know, but I think half of it is because he’s had nearly constant ear infections since he was tiny. The other part of it is that he lives life at 110% all the time. Haha.

My foster daughter is eleven, and she never seemed to outgrow the loud talking either. However, hers is from something differently entirely. Perhaps it was from temporary deafness when she was a toddler, but my instincts tell me no.

She’s not loud all the time (like my littlest daughter or my godson), but can actually turn her volume way down when she needs to be respectful. She is primarily motivated by seeking attention so she’s almost always being loud to get people’s attention.

A LOT of kids get loud for this reason–especially those in big families–but it’s important to pay attention to whether they speak at that volume all the time or only in certain circumstances.

Here’s a list of reasons why your child might be yelling as a form of communication:

– Age-appropriate growing (ages 3-5)
– Problems with ears (ear infections or hearing loss)
– Large family, lots of people to talk over
– Attention seeking
– ADHD (lack of impulse control, over-excitement)
– ODD (yelling out of defiance or anger)
– Anxiety (some kids with anxiety get quiet, some panic and get loud)
– Mimicking loud parents (if their culture is loud, they will be loud)

All of this is to say that being loud as a kid isn’t necessarily a bad thing – it just depends on the circumstances!

If you’re like me and have felt like pulling your hair out because you’re tired of asking your kid to be quiet, hopefully this will bring you some insight. It may not be a problem of defiance, after all!

Happy parenting, y’all.

Kids Who Don’t Have “Volume” Buttons

W. R. Cummings

One comment: View Comments / Leave a Comment



APA Reference
Cummings, W. (2019). Kids Who Don’t Have “Volume” Buttons. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 20, 2019, from


Last updated: 30 Mar 2019
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network ( prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on All rights reserved.