In this 31 days series I’m looking at ways that I can make way for family life; choices that can simplify my lifestyle, making way for to me to live life with my kids! All posts can be found here.
Keep the Noise Down!
We live in a busy, noisy world so much so that we may not even consider how this noise is affecting our hearts, how it is affecting our family life.
Peter flies his own little plane for work and he will often phone me while he is in the air. But it was very hard to have a conversation over the noise of the plane. He’d ask me a simple question like ‘what’s the weather look like there’ and we’d end up yelling at each other. Not because it was an emotive question but simply to get over the background noise. We’d hang up and I’d be left feeling like we’d just had an argument and convinced he hated me! Of course that wasn’t the case but the fact that we had to raise our voice left an impression on my heart. Thankfully we have bought noise reducing headphones that connect to his phone and we can have normal conversation without yelling!
My point is though that noise affects our heart.
- Kids arguing, fighting, throwing their little tantrum
- Music, radio, TV/Movies, wii
- Battery operated toys
- Slamming doors
- Squealing or yelling
- Talking or playing loud
This kind of noise is exhausting, and it ‘grumps the heart’. I’ve often wondered why and I think there are two reasons:
- Things are in chaos – slack routines, tiredness, lazy choices
- Individuals are living selfishly
What to do?
- Set a routine so your kids (and yourself) stay focused on doing the right thing at the right time
- Keep plenty of margin in your days so you have time to regroup, tidy up, smile. Stop rushing!
Then there are some things we can teach our kids:
- to resolve conflict quickly and peaceably (concluding in forgiveness)
- that there is appropriate noise for different times and places – inside voice, outside voice, whisper and loud, happy laughter versus crazy noise (I used to tell my girls that they were too happy – happy is good but happy out of control is noisy!) .
- to respect the fact that there are other people in the room, having other conversations. You only need to speak to the person next to you
- to interrupt people appropriately instead of yelling for their attention
- to consider others and their activities before we play music or other noise from technology.
Noise can be a delight to us as well. I reckon one of the most calming noises at the end of the day is little kids laughing in a bathtub! We enjoy listening to a variety of music – it feeds the soul. I enjoy housecleaning to loud music (just my kids don’t always agree with my choices – or vice versa!) I call out my kids’ names (though try and wait till they come before I talk to them). There is good noise.
So when it comes to noise levels in our home it is really about balance and appropriateness. And if your heart is feeling the ‘grumps’ maybe consider how noisy it has been lately.