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?


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 for PBS Parents, Washington Post Parents, and the Huffington Post. She is the author of "The Happy Kid Handbook: How to Raise Joyful Children in a Stressful World" (Tarcher/Penguin, 2015) and "No More Mean Girls: The Secret to Raising Strong, Confident, and Compassionate Girls" (Penguin Random House, 2018)