Little Voices

Big Voices are loud, commanding, and present.


Big Voices are very clear.


In general, there is no mistaking what a Big Voice wants/needs/is saying.


Big Voices take control.  In times of stress, this can come in handy.  You can always count on a Big Voice to step in when other voices are frozen, unable to utter a sound.


But sometimes Big Voices forget to consider how Little Voices might feel in their presence.  Sometimes Big Voices forget that Little Voices scare easily, feel sad, and don’t always know how to respond.


I speak for Little Voices.


Little Voices are often fragile and not often assertive.


When you kneel down to listen, to really listen, Little Voices have a lot to say.


Little Voices are creative, happy, energetic, curious, loving, resilient, and interesting.


Little Voices know a lot about love, friendship, and caring for the souls of others.  Sometimes more than Big Voices give them credit for.


But Little Voices are not always able to articulate their feelings.  Little Voices sometimes fear the possible consequences of speaking up; so they hide away instead, internalizing the very words, voice tones, and actions that make them feel so very little.


Please don’t use sarcasm.  I might not understand all of your words, but I know that they are meant to hurt.


Please don’t yell.  It scares me.  It makes me feel unsafe.


Please don’t hit.  It hurts me, in more ways than one.


Please listen to what I have to say.  My thoughts are important too.


Please love me anyway; I didn’t mean to throw that toy/push that boy/slam that door.


Please don’t be mad at me.  Sometimes I throw a tantrum because it’s the only way I know how to say that I am too tired, too over-stimulated, too hungry, too thirsty, too bored, or too frustrated.


Please help me when I’m sad or mad.  Please teach me how to share, interact, listen, and cooperate.


Please, oh please, love me anyway.


Little Voices can’t always find the strength to say these things.  Little Voices are constantly reminded to do what they are told.  Little Voices aren’t often told that their feelings matter and that their voices are important.


Little Voices are often fragile and not often assertive.


I speak for Little Voices, so that Little Voices can be heard.


I’ve been a therapist long enough to know that my original goal of changing the world probably won’t come to fruition, but I can certainly speak up for one Little Voice at a time…and hopefully help a few others along the way.


Who do you speak for?


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About Katie

Katie Hurley is a Child, Adolescent, and Family Psychotherapist and Parenting Expert in Los Angeles, CA. She works in private practice in the South Bay area of Los Angeles, writes freelance for Everyday Family and allParenting, and blogs for The Huffington Post. She has a rock and roll husband and two kids. Katie believes in love, lattes, and the power of play.


  1. Oh I LOVE that you speak for Little Voices. It’s all so very true. Every last word. And even though I think I do a fairly good job, thanks for the reminder how important the words my Little Voices have are. You inspire me.
    Christine recently posted..Sometimes It’s Not About the ChoiceMy Profile

  2. A much-needed reminder about how important those little voices are. Beautiful.

  3. I speak for the little kids! Respecting children is the first thing adults need to learn :)

    Love this. Thank goodness for the Big Voices that can speak for them!
    jessie recently posted..Some Physical Skills for Practical LifeMy Profile

  4. and you made me cry … because some days I am guilty.
    Guilty of not speaking to the little voices as well as I should.
    Snarky sometimes escapes my lips and my words hurt before I can take them back.
    And then I remember that I cannot take them back …
    and their feelings do matter and their voices are important.
    Thank you xxx
    By Word of Mouth Musings recently posted..Maurice Sendak, a legendMy Profile

  5. Yes. Thank you. Excellent reminder! :)
    My original goal was to change the world too. I think maybe we do get there by speaking for one little voice at a time. Or, at least, I hope.
    Angela Matthewson recently posted.."Routine" v. "Boring"My Profile

  6. I love this. Such an important reminder. And beautifully written, as usual. :)
    Megan recently posted.."I want to hold my Mommy!"My Profile

  7. Ohmyheart, sweet friend, this is so very perfect, so very you, and so very humbling.

    (Thank you for the tears I have in my eyes reading this! They’re the good kind!)

    So, so very beautifully done!
    Galit Breen recently posted..About NoticingMy Profile

  8. This is a really really good reminder. I’m not sarcastic with my kids and can pretty well control my temper, but I don’t always really listen and it hurts to think that it is so.
    Lady Jennie recently posted..I SpeakMy Profile

  9. I love that you speak for little people, and not just your own.
    Jessica recently posted..A Failed AttemptMy Profile

  10. I love this general goal for all big voices to remember. There are times when I get frustrated if my little one isn’t listening…what an important reminder to put myself in her shoes. How well would I articulate if I only one year of communicating in words?

    Daily Mom recently posted..Big Girl Bed Time…My Profile

  11. Adorable, love this!
    Emily recently posted..5 Ways to Survive Missing Your Mom on Mother’s DayMy Profile

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