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. :)
Do they have enough time outside? Is it hospitable and are you recovered enough to be outside with them right now? You could wear the baby and simply find a place in the yard or on the porch to sit while they run it off.
I find music to be transforming in our home. Do you all listen to any? Maybe something soothing would change the mood. I'm a sucker for Simon & Garfunkel.
How's your daily rhythm? Do you have a quiet period? Are the DVD's the children are watching slow or fast? I think some are okay, if they move slowly and keep the action down, and might help facilitate quiet time.
Those are my thoughts. I look forward to what others might say.
Mothering an Autumn (08) , a Spring (11) , and another Autumn! (Nov. 2013)
Taking what works and leaving the rest
I hear ya tiqa. I too have a 5 and 6 year old (boys), and the noise is incessant- chatter, animal noises, sound effects, fighting, humming, etc.
Right now they are shrieking and playing hide and seek and chasing each other throughout the house as I am on my computer. It is the price I pay for indulging in these little luxuries of mine
Outside time definitely helps. Thankfully mine are finally getting old enough where I can boot them out back and do dishes while I watch them through the window.
Another thing that I have found works for them is when I clean their room. It seems to hit the 'reset' button and they are able to chill out in there for awhile and bask in the clear space and organization. It really seems to clear their minds!
I've been thinking a lot about this lately. My husband often exclaims "They never stop playing!". It's true, they don't. I guess when you have two so close together, it is like the play date that never goes home. It is near impossible for them to turn that button off, because they have never known anything different. They always have someone to talk to, laugh with, fight with, make funny noises with, so yeah... the noise never seems to stop.
I'm so watching this. I have a 2 yo and a 4 yo with a baby due next month. They fight all the time. They are loud all the time. My older ds will sit there and hit the table/chair/whatever with his hand over and over just to make noise!! He is literally never still either. Even if I get him in my lap he isn't still, he wiggles, shifts, fidgits and generally just keeps moving. We have tried to find times that he is still but it really never happens. Right now he is sitting next to me hitting the wall over and over. I keep telling him to stop and he doesn't listen. Sigh. My younger ds is a screamer/whiner. He can be very quiet by himself but my older ds chases him and torments him leading to whining and crying. All. Day. Long. I crave quiet. I crave peace.
Single, student mama to 3 boys
Be thankful your son's speech issues are in the past. I know I'm making light of it, but there's really nothing you can do. Verbal people are verbal people. Eventually, they will learn to write, and things will get quieter.
I was a nonstop talker, as was my son. Both of us are writers, now. I predict your son will end up in a career where words will rule.
I'm also guessing you came from a calmer household. I suggest you relax, and only try to control the tone, not the amount. As long as there's nothing hurtful being said, and the volume isn't causing neighbors to call the police, go about your business, humming and singing.
You can try to get them to sing along. It may be fun!
I could have written this!
My five year old is very chatty. Constantly talking / playing / singing. My two year old also didn't talk for awhile, and now he doesn't stop!
I try to have quiet time throughout the day. (Breathing in/out) I have some yoga kids DVDS and they are actually fairly fun, and the kids will give them a go and will remain peaceful quite for a few minutes...I also put on the Sparkle Stories and encourage them to be quite because if not, they won't hear what's going on! Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't..but if everyone is happy and the loudness is just the problem well -- so be it I guess!
I have just learned to tune out of it, I'm only bothered if the verbality involves me, the younger one has day's when everything has to be seen by mom and commented on by mom. So I'm just thankful when they are loud together. Tuning out of their fights is hard, I make sure no-one is being unfair, but usually I can't pick sides, so I tell them they have to figure it out together.
but about the type of noises... I think it would help to get the play sounds tune down, if you can ask your husband to play video games only when kids are asleep, choose calmer music for certain situations, while loud is good, when everyone wants to get up and dance it out!
Movies, I have field studies on my kids that prove that children record and replay the sounds of movies, and I don't allow them to watch annoying television. i pick movies that I like, they are calm and celver, not at your face full on entertainment or the little kid whiny stuff!
And this I can't stress enough: Go outdoors, not just parks, but try open air, fields, forests and beaches even in colder weather.