My 3.5-year-old son simply cries when someone talks or gives commands in higher volume. He stops crying when I hug him again. But this is new behaviour in him. In school, staff informed me that he simply cries for past one week. When staff tells him to sing loudly in higher volume or without smiling he starts crying. He thinks that they are angry with him and scolding him. He is calm and talks in low volume to others except me. How to make him bold and face all types of people?

  • You seem to be new here, so: Welcome! But, I think your last sentence is unclear, and what exactly is your question? Also, perhaps it's relevant where in the world you are.
    – KlaymenDK
    May 21, 2019 at 15:18
  • by higher tones do mean volume or higher as in musical scales (sorry if "tone" has an exact meaning I am missing)
    – WendyG
    May 21, 2019 at 15:35
  • Must be talking about the teachers speaking at a higher volume than the child is used to or the parent might have only reserved the higher volume for discipline only. I'd have the doctor rule out any ear problems.
    – jcmack
    May 21, 2019 at 19:07

1 Answer 1


My thoughts would be:

  1. Does the child react like this to any loud sounds?

  2. Has the child been in an area where 2 people he has bonded with were arguing? (can involve anyone he bonded to: parents, grandparents, sibling, etc)

  3. Does this only occur at daycare?

  4. For a radio/video/tv program does he react negatively to louder levels?

If if #2 is yes then he most likely has seen or been exposed to some form of fear response not for himself but that one of the people he has bonded to may leave.

Do you scold your child in a louder voice?

How is your child with interacting with others outside his bonded group? If he reacts in the same way higher speech causes negative reaction, he may need to have more interactions with unfamiliar people (of course with you present) to observe that not everyone communicates the same way.

If #3 is yes, does he avoid going to go to daycare? If so, you may want to check about the daycare's complaint history from regulators. (This may be an issue with the daycare, which they aren't going to tell you about)

If #4 is yes, the child may have a hearing issue. Perhaps louder sounds are distorted or certain pitches are not heard. (I had this issue when I was a child with my father; he would yell for me or scold me but because he would deepen his voice and increase the volume I was tone deaf at that level. So he would be yelling and I wouldn't hear anything but what could be described as a charlie brown teacher voice. wah wha wha wahn wa. I could tell someone was talking but not understand anything.)

Finally, how are your child's verbalization skills? Does he understand when he "should" yell? Eg: Stranger! Help! Know that if he isn't exposed to these types of interactions it will eventually become a deficit in his social skills.

It's why interacting with a lot of different people or groups is helpful so he can learn how to interact with everyone. Think about the movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" and how the groom's family seemed very timid or were not interacting with others. Compared to the bride's family who was loud and boisterous. These are the extremes but some families are exactly this way and your child needs to be able to interact with both for his future growth. Think he are a world where communication is the one skill that if you can't do well you won't get far.

Good luck.

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