Ideas needed

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TeDo, Jan 29, 2012.

  1. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Something that has become very obvious to me lately is that both my kids struggle with reading "tone of voice". difficult child 1 struggles a lot more than difficult child 2 but at times even he has a problem. They hear the words but the meaning of the tone it is said in is lost on them. difficult child 1 can't tell when I'm getting angry by my facial expressions OR the change in my tone of voice. He only seems to hear the words. It also happens when he says something in an "I have an attitude" tone of voice and then gets upset when I interpret it as him having an attitude and when I try to point it out to him he raises his voice even more and says "I do NOT have an attitude!!"

    Does anyone have any ideas on how to teach this and/or resources that might help? It is really causing increasing communication issues in our house.
  2. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    This may sound strange, so bear with me.

    LOTS of the time we use tone of voice to convey a message. It can be super handy and it also can cause problems. I have a sib who has always "known" what everyone else was thinking/feeling/meaning and more than 90% of the time he is so far from correct it would be laughable if it didn't cause so many problems. Mostly because he often has figured out what you "feel" or "think" about something LOOOOOOOOOOOONG before you are even aware that something exists.

    One of the few things that helped was just saying what we meant. Instead of "Eloise Grizelda Grinchensten!" we would say "STOP NOW Eloise" or "You are in BIG trouble, Eloise Grizelda Grinchenstein!"

    We stopped relying on tone of voice and came out as just said "you are driving me batguano crazy" or "Have you lost your mind? Dad is going to stick his fork through your hand if you get any closer to his pie. Being his child will NOT stop him!"

    You can also mirror some of his tone back to him. This would best be at a calm, teachable moment. Maybe say "the other day when you said "Blah blah blah" the way you said seemed like you were angry with me. It sounded like this to me, "blah blah blah" (said in his tone of voice). When I say it the way you did, what do you think I mean besides the words?
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    How about the video camera on your phone. years ago it would have been much harder to take a video and show him but now, its pretty easy. Just shoot the video, upload it to the computer and then you can play one of him saying it and then upload one of you saying the same thing in the proper tone of voice and using the proper attitude and expressions. If he can watch the two of those and see the differences for himself, he might be able to work on them himself using the computer. Or just record him on the computer and see if he can tell what he is trying to convey without seeing himself. There is a record function on the computer and you could just hit the record button on the computer when he starts on a tangent. I have my microphone pinned to my bottom bar so I can record anything at the drop of a hat. If he says he isnt getting irate, then have him listen to himself back and ask him what he sounds like. He may not be able to tell you.
  4. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Drama class. If you can't get him into one, improvise at home.

    I used to read with difficult child 3, we would take turns reading the dialogue and reading with expression. To begin with, difficult child 3 would read the "he said," bits and the narration while I did all the dialogue, using different voices and really acting it out over the top. This modelled it for him so when he decided he wanted to read the voices, he just did it like I did. This then extrapolated into him recognising the same sort of 'mood' and context in personal communication.
    Just one thing you could do.