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Practicing being powerful with your voice!

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. As part of our global efforts to help protect kids from abuse, bullying, and other harmful behavior, each day this month, we will share a time-tested skill from our Kidpower® 30-Skill-Challenge Coaching Handbook.

Skill #23: Yelling So People Will Listen and Understand. Knowing not only how to use their voices in a loud, clear, and strong way but what to yell can help kids to escape from a dangerous situation. A loud voice attracts attention to a child in an emergency, and can startle someone who is bothering them. However, developing a strong voice and the confidence to use it doesn’t just happen – it takes practice. Teach a child how to use their voice as a powerful safety tool.

This full practice is a part of the Kidpower® 30-Skill-Challenge Coaching Handbook.

Using their voices in a loud, clear, and strong way can help kids to escape from a dangerous situation. The skills of yelling include how to yell and what to yell.

Your voice is a powerful safety tool as it can help people know what you like and don’t like, what you want or need, whether or not you are having a Safety Problem and call attention to you in an emergency.

Practice with children by saying, “There is a special tool you have with you all the time that can help keep you safe. It is your voice. Your voice can help keep you safe by calling attention to you in an emergency, startling someone who might want to bother you, and also for helping you to say what you want and don’t want.”

“We are going to practice yelling with a strong and powerful voice. Put your hands on your belly and take a big breath of air. Now let it out. We are going to yell ‘No’ short and loud from deep down low in our bellies. It will sound like this! ‘NO!’” (Make sure to yell as loudly as you want children to yell if they were in danger!)

“Okay, now let’s do it together. Ready! Go! NO! Great! Again! Ready! Go! NO! Great job!”

Like lots of skills we have been practicing, developing a strong voice can take time so continue to practice when you can. You can make it a game where you yell out in nature–maybe into the wind or the roar of the ocean.

A fun way to practice is to play the “No Game” where you face each other and one starts with a tiny quiet no, then the other person is a little louder, then the first person is louder still, and you keep going until you are both yelling in your loudest voices (Remember to keep the yells short and from your belly, rather than having them turn into a scream from your throat.)

Now, have children practice yelling other words that communicate a clear message, “STOP! I NEED HELP!”

Some of us find it easy to yell and for others of us it can take time for us to feel comfortable yelling in a loud voice. Some of us will never feel comfortable yelling, but practice can help us to be able to yell when we need to.

When teaching children to yell, do your best to yell in a loud strong voice yourself so you can provide a powerful example. Remember children learn a tremendous amount from watching the adults in their lives. Sometimes it can work well to increase your own confidence in using your voice by practicing yelling NO or STOP in a short loud voice by yourself in private before doing so with children.

For a FREE explanation on the simple methods you can use to teach children to use each of these skills, download the Kidpower® 30-Skill-Challenge Coaching Handbook on our website –this ebook will be FREE of charge in English, Spanish, and Arabic in honor of April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Please share this skill with others. Let’s work together to teach young people to take charge of their safety, increase self-confidence, and develop healthy, positive relationships! 

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Published: April 23, 2019   |   Last Updated: April 23, 2019

Kidpower Founder and Executive Irene van der Zande is a master at teaching safety through stories and practices and at inspiring others to do the same. Her child protection and personal safety expertise has been featured by USA Today, CNN, Today Moms, the LA Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Publications include: cartoon-illustrated Kidpower Safety Comics and Kidpower Teaching Books curriculum; Bullying: What Adults Need to Know and Do to Keep Kids Safe; the Relationship Safety Skills Handbook for Teens and Adults; Earliest Teachable Moment: Personal Safety for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers; The Kidpower Book for Caring Adults: Personal Safety, Self-Protection, Confidence, and Advocacy for Young People, and the Amazon Best Seller Doing Right by Our Kids: Protecting Child Safety at All Levels.