I wasn't really sure what to title this thread, but I guess that about sums it up. I have three kids - newly 5, almost 6, and newborn. I really try to cultivate a peaceful environment, but from the time they get up (before daybreak) until they go to bed, they're talking. DS didn't start talking until he was 2, he was in speech therapy even. Now he never stops talking. And it's not just talking - it's screeching, screaming, narrating everything he does, fighting with his sister, etc. I guess most of those are pretty normal kid things, but it's really hard to get out of that headspace with him. And I feel almost tricked sometimes... I end up talking way more than I intend to just because he engages me in conversation about absolutely everything and it feels unnatural not to respond.
I can't really just model doing things quietly and purposefully because they ignore me and chatter on with each other. And if "chatter" seems like a cute term for it, try "screaming and carrying on" to perhaps more accurately convey what they do. ;) I can't hum or sing while I do things because, again, they're interacting with each other nonstop. I mean I can, and I do, but they completely ignore me and/or interrupt. If I set down the suggestion/rule (depending on how forceful I'm feeling about it that day) of, "let's all try to (sit quietly during storytime / have nap time / eat our breakfast without talking so much" etc they last about 20 seconds without bursting out with saying something. (Usually DS.) And half the time I end up yelling - just to make them hear me over them interacting with each other. The "whisper so they'll pay attention" trick doesn't work. They completely ignore whispers. Eye contact, physically getting to their level, etc. - they barely slow down and within ten seconds they're back to chaotic.
To make things worse, DH is home with us and he certainly doesn't model "calm and purposeful" either. He'll come into the room, interrupt anyone who's talking, yell all the time (not necessarily in anger, he is just loud overall) etc. He plays music loudly, plays video games loudly, when we're in the car the radio is loud... etc. (We are going back towards a screen-free lifestyle for the kids; we were media-free for the first few years but have strayed in the last couple of years into DVD's - way too many for my tastes.) For the record, I can control the media they are directly accessing, but I can't control DH or the music/video games etc, so please no advice on that - just giving his personality as a sort of background info.
I know calm doesn't have to mean silent, but I feel that we're way too verbal. We need to slow down, calm down, and quiet down... but how?
Open to suggestions. Be brutal. :)