Family peace: Lower the volume 5 ways

Ever find yourself in the middle of a family feud? Has family time become a battleground? Even if your family isn't at odds with each other, things can get pretty noisy on the home-front. How do you keep the family peace? You can raise your voice above the rest, but does that really help? When my kids were young, we had our share of crazy moments. Still, the majority of the time, our home life was pretty peaceful. So, what's my best advice for controlling the family volume?

Get into a routine.

Kids need free play. They are naturally inclined to be loud, noisy and rambunctious. So, give them that time, preferably outdoors. Develop a routine that allows them to run off everything from giggles to aggression. Establishing a schedule that allows for both craziness and quiet time keeps the volume down when you need it to be.

Be a peacekeeper.

Want kids to keep the volume down? Use your indoor voice too. If you establish a quiet tone with kids from an early age, they'll follow your lead. What if you didn't do that? It's never too late to start. It just might take a while before the kids join in. Meanwhile, work on those problem solving skills. They'll help keep things peaceful too.

Refuse to argue, fuss and fight.

One of my biggest pet peeves is parents who still act like kids. You know the ones. Kids start arguing with each other and these parents are right in there, throwing punches like they never left grade school. Want to keep the family peace? Refuse to join the melee. When your kids start being hostile toward each other, be the grown up. That's what they need.

Divide and conquer.

Don't just separate your kids when they fight. Make sure each child gets plenty of one on one time with you. Sibling rivalry is often due to jealousy. Your kids may be fighting with each other, when what they're really looking for is attention from you. Why not give it to them before they take it out on the whole family?

Provide opportunity for quiet, thoughtful play.

When kids get their adrenaline pumping, they often need space and time to wind down. Don't you? Stock the house with creative supplies that allow them to play quietly and independently. Your home will be more peaceful if kids are kept busy with quiet play that allows them to use their brains without opening their mouths.

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