Friday, January 04, 2008

REDUCING NOISE, REDUCING STRESSMy dear friend, Becky at Boys Rule my Life, has started a new carnival, beginning today, called Simple and Slow Fridays.

So, I started thinking about noise and sound and how it affects our family's home and atmosphere...both positively and negatively.
There are several ways that I have worked/am working to reduce superfluous noise in our house...with three little boys running around, there is plenty of yelling and running and banging and laughing.

-For awhile, I had really, really reduced television time. We had worked down to watching little or no television during the week, and then letting the boys watch a movie on Friday night. I would like to get back to this, but I know it will be an on going challenge. It is so easy to let it creep back up and to use TV as a babysitter.

-I got rid of all toys that use batteries or make noise. Every single one. The boys haven't missed them...and I know I haven't. Yes, I did get Landing the Band in a Box for Christmas, which makes a lot of noise. But, I have put them away, and only bring them out at certain times for them to play with. And, he really loves to make music (I use the term "music" loosely! ha!).

-I talk very little on the phone during the day. I find that I am not very attentive to the boys when I am on the phone...and they use that as an opportunity to get into lots of mischief. So, my phone time is very, very limited when they are up.

-No TV in the master bedroom. This is the first house we have lived in that we have not had a television in our bedroom, and I love the difference it makes. I love having that space to retreat when SportsCenter (my arch-nemesis) is driving me batty. Our children are only allowed in our room by invitation, so this room is truly a sanctuary to me. Nothing but books and down filled blankets and pillows there and I LOVE IT.

-I personally prefer to use learning tools that, for the most part, are not electronic. I know a lot of people rave about the Leap Pad system, but I would rather read to my kids, or use books on tape (especially in the car). My five year old enjoys listening to them with headphones during rest time. We also like workbooks (ok, I hate workbooks. Caed (5), likes them), exploring outside, cooking, reading, and using materials found around the house for simple math and such. Don't get me wrong, I don't dislike the Leap Pad or other similar learning tools, they just haven't personally captured my or my children's attention.

-On the flip side, there are some ways that I welcome noise into our house. I grew up home schooled (until high school), and my mom always had classical music playing. During planning, cleaning, or school time, she often played Bach, or other Baroque music, for its methodical qualities. For other times, Mozart or Beethoven. For evenings and winding down times, Brahms, or Chopin's Nocturnes (night music). I have begun to do this in our home as well, and have found that it can really change the tone of our house.

-People. We love to have people into our home. I love for our children to be exposed to different people with their own ideas, looks, and ways of doing things. I love the bustle of a house full of friends and family. It can get noisy, yes, but is well worth it for the happy chaos it brings.

My end goal is to have a home that is filled with sound...but I want it to be noise that is mostly generated by us...children laughing and playing, people talking, etc. Sounds that are happy and peaceful and creative, not mechanized sound from a blaring TV or battery-operated toy.

So, what about you? How do you feel about the noise level in your home? What have you done/want to do to reduce it? Or maybe add to it? Leave a comment here, or head over to Becky's Blog to link your own post!

*Image from lottebrayley on


  1. Hi Laurel!
    I have really been enjoying your blog. You and I are very similar.
    I love having a (mostly) quiet home...I do love the energy and noise of children, but dislike electronic noise.

  2. Hey Laurel! Great post. There were a few people that found me through you today and linked up. I think if you haven't already, you'd like to check them out.

    I am realizing that besides the tv there really isn't a whole bunch of noise in the house (beyond the kids). Next week should be really interesting with no tv and Will in school. Wish me luck!