Often when we’re trying to get small children to be quiet, we might say, “SHH!” or “Be quiet!” These can be confusing for a little one.
I have found that the best way to communicate with my children that they need to be quiet is to simply whisper, “Whisper.” If we’re in church and they say, “Mom, I want to color!” I will simply respond in a whisper, “Whisper.” If they ask again, I will repeat myself until they are whispering. Once they whisper, then I respond to their question or request in a whispering voice. They quickly learn that their communication is useless unless it’s in a whisper.
If you’re not sure if your child understands physically how to whisper, here is a trick to show them the difference between talking and whispering: have them place their fingers on their throat near their voice box. When they speak normally, they will be able to feel the vibration in their fingertips. When they are whispering, however, they will be able to feel nothing.
Children should be seen AND heard- just quietly. :-)