Concerning Kids – How to find the balance between noise and silence


Christian Life

Anna Gnatyshyna, CNE.news

A child making noise with a xylophone. Photo Unsplash, Jelleke Vanooteghem

We all need peace and quiet sometimes. Whenever we try to concentrate on an important task for work, school, or other activities, we yearn for silence. Children don't always accommodate our needs. Columnist Anna puts these issues in perspective.

Children are often associated with lots of energy and… noise. When I first started babysitting, I had two wrong expectations: that a child would get busy by playing with its toys and that she would be quiet so I could read my book... I was 15 at that point, young and naïve. Now, I am fully aware that babysitting is about being active, on full alert, and experiencing high decibels of noise.

Noise can test the patience of even the most tolerant parents, as well as their neighbours. When my siblings and I were little, we used to live in an old compartment building with thin walls. Our neighbour was always angry at us and called us "elephants" as he heard our running feet on his ceiling. My mom would turn red and say "sorry". And then whenever we were disobedient, she would scare us with that neighbour's name as he would surely come again and shout at us in case of high level of noise.

Natural part of childhood

We all want quietness and silence. Silence is golden; unless you have a toddler. In that case, silence is very, very suspicious. When your kid is nowhere to be seen, silence is a red flag because the kid is up to something that you are unlikely to appreciate.

However, while the sounds of children at play are a natural part of childhood, the constant noise can have outcomes that extend beyond mere annoyance. Constant background noise can make it difficult for kids to concentrate, affecting their ability to focus on tasks and learn effectively. For parents, managing a household with noisy children is a constant source of stress.

Nowadays, I hear a popular idea about letting kids emotionally express themselves with no restrictions. It is based on the assumption that kids have perfect inner settings, so they "know what they need". I cannot agree with that because raising kids requires not only basics (food, water, clothes, shelter) but the mental and spiritual development of the character.

It is vital to find a balance between allowing children to express themselves freely and establishing quiet time routines and behavioural boundaries.


My friend Alex says, "When I get a headache, I take two aspirins and then keep myself away from children just like it says on the bottle." After he gets away from the kids, his wife is left to struggle with noisy kids alone.

When leading the Children's Club, I model appropriate behaviour when it comes to noise management. It is about the change of the activity when, after a period of loud games and some excited screaming, they refocus on a quieter activity. Some of the activities encourage communication between kids when they learn to listen to each other.

I have to embrace the fact that I cannot cancel all the noise. Kids are noisy. It is a fact. But I learn to manage the noise, teaching them to keep the boundaries. There is a time for noise, as well as for quietness. There is a time to express themselves and a time to listen to others. The shift of activities is a game-changer that we should master.



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