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Quiet Times and Noisy Times


We all have a need for times of peace and quiet. Yet there are times when it’s all right to be silly and noisy. Sometimes it’s hard for children to even be aware that they are being too silly or noisy for others. They may not be able to control the amount of noise they make. One of the things that parents can do is to help children find acceptable ways to be noisy…and to help them see that they can, little by little, begin to control how noisy, silly or quiet they are.

Helping Children Control their Noise

  • Talk about what is expected ahead of time. Children tend to manage better when they know about things beforehand. It takes a while for children to learn what noise levels are socially acceptable in different situations.
  • Talk about times when it’s all right to be silly or noisy, such as when they’re outside playing or when everyone agrees that noise is all right (like at a party or ball game).
  • Talk about times when it’s important to be quiet so that people can hear, such as:
  1.           when someone is trying to talk or
  2.          when we’re at a concert or a movie or a worship service
  3.          when we’re inside a small area and could bother others with our noise
  4.          when someone is sleeping or isn’t feeling well.

Help Children Learn to Find Ways to Express Their Need to be Noisy

  • Give them a time for making noise without disturbing others. They might want to:
  1.           bang on pots and pans with a metal spoon
  2.           pound on empty oatmeal containers with a wooden spoon
  3.           sing loud or yell

•           Try to give your child some time to be outside where it’s okay to be noisy.

Help Children Learn to Enjoy Quiet Times

  • Set aside “quiet time” each day for you and your child — even if that’s only for a few minutes. Turn off the television or radio. Use the time to read a book, look at magazines, draw pictures, or just sit and enjoy the peace and quiet.
  • When you are traveling in the car, turn off the radio and take time for quiet conversation or looking at things you pass.
  • Provide a safe place where children can go when they need some peace and quiet, like a tent or playhouse made with blankets over a chair or table.

Let Children Know They Can Begin to Control the Amount of Noise They Make. Give Them Chances to Practice.

  • Sing a song that has a loud, active verse; then alternate it with a soft quiet verse;
  • Play simple games that allow everyone to be noisy until you give a signal to be quiet;
  • Be patient with children as they learn to control their noise. Children don’t come with “volume control” and they sometimes can’t control their sounds, especially when they are under stress.

Produced by: Support from:
The Fred Rogers Company logo   Corporation for Public Broadcasting logo Rite Aid Foundation

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