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|How does the sound travel!?|
My house is too noisy
So, I work from home many hours a day.
I have three 5yo kids (yes, triplets) which are awfully noisy. The wife doesn't make it any easier. Not just they have strong voice (I hope they can use it for sing at least), but also yell many times while playing or fighting. So, either happy or angry they're noisy.
I have a little office with a door, which I keep closed. But I hear everybody like they are behind me.
My house is made with concrete blocks, not wood like in the USA.
I tried by putting a sort of sealer on the door (which is metal filled by some wood and other isolator materials), made with foam. It reduced the noise like 5% at most :(
What do you recommend me to do?
I've heard sometimes the dogs can be take to the vet to surgery so they don't bark that loud. I'd suppose that's prohibited for wife and children.
>> How does the sound travel!?
Through oscillations of the air particles around you! :)
I'd suggest noice canceling headphones [en.wikipedia.org] ;)
|>> How does the sound travel!? |
Through oscillations in the air particles around you!
the key is killing those oscillations wherever possible.
your walls are probably hollow and act like huge drums or speakers.
whatever insulates for temperature will usually insulate for sound as well...
Geez...You don't do surgery man, that's just plain cruel!
You use shock collars, as they are less invasive, much more effective and cheaper! ;)
|You use shock collars, as they are less invasive, much more effective and cheaper! |
as well as being more entertaining - look for one with a rf remote control...
Noise cancelling headphones.
I have two sets. None keep the children quiet.
Seriously, they just insulate from background low frequency noises, like an airplane, the air conditioner.
They don't cover a high pitched soprano-like shout from one of my daugthers.
How about buying a trampoline? Keeps them outdoors every time ;)
Well, maybe when they get a little bit older, anyway
Hmm. I would suggest an attitude change. If you are making phone calls and your clients or whoever can hear them, I could see how you might have an issue - but if it's just you being distracted by the noise, let me assure you that if you change your attitude about the noise it will cease being a problem.
I work from home. My husband works outside of the home for 60-80 hours a week and he travels a lot. I have a very active and loud three year old. My office is IN his playroom. It has to be so he doesn't rip the house apart while I am working. Right now he is jumping off the table repeatedly onto the floor. YAH! AYAA! MOM LOOK! YEEEAAAAH! MOM WATCH! MOM, I'M FIRING A BOMB AT YOU (as the toy rocket he is holding comes flying my way).
Just wait till he brings the dog in ...
I work through this all day ... and I even look and watch every time he says so (I swear he said the word MOM 3000+ times yesterday) and I put his creepy crawlers in the oven when that comes up and I get him his meals and kiss any booboos that come up.
It can be done. IMO, you have it easy.
Now, just for testing, send the kid to a camp for two weeks. When you realize you produced 3 times the job without him jumping around you'll know what I'm talking about.
Plus, you are a MOM. You guys are next thing to God.
I used to work nights, to dampen noise and light while I slept, I put 3 inch styrofoam panels in my windows, and wrapped them in tin foil.
That reduced the sound level siginficantly.
|Now, just for testing, send the kid to a camp for two weeks. When you realize you produced 3 times the job without him jumping around you'll know what I'm talking about. |
This made me smile and nod my head - I am sure you are right . . :) But I would miss him if I sent him to camp. LOL.
|Plus, you are a MOM. You guys are next thing to God. |
and this made me want to give you a big kiss :) It sure feels nice to be appreciated, even if it is by proxy.
eta - and I just read minnaple's post. I used to work nights too, and I would use white noise to drown out outside noise. An airconditioner or box fan very close to me did the trick.
[edited by: LisaWeber at 5:05 am (utc) on Mar. 8, 2007]
Pure and simple - you are not going to be able to put up physical barriers that are going to allow you to tune out your family. I had the same issue where I used to work, and no amount of remodeling, headphones, meetings, or knock-down, drag-out confrontations ever solved it. I had to quit to get away from the noise.
You have two choices. One, like LisaWeber says, is to adjust yourself to float within the chaos and allow it to be part of your work medium. Ask yourself, is the noise so distracting of itself or are you ALLOWING it to distract you? Think on this one deeply, you may be encountering stressful issues and difficulties with your work and subconsciously are looking for an escape. Noisy distractions allow you to designate the distraction as the problem.
Remember I said I had to quit to get away from the noise? Well, true, the noise was awful - but that wasn't the problem. I hated my job - not the work, the conditions and situation. It was dreadful and I was dying. That was the problem, and I allowed the noise to be the excuse for my frustration. It wasn't until many months after quitting I figured this out.
The other choice is to set up a satellite office. You can dump tons of money into projects trying to soundproof your work area only to find out you can't. That money can be put into a small, 100% expenses tax-deductible workplace.
If the garage is unattached - this could work too.
Get an office away from home or shoot the kids.
Put sleeping tablets in there drinks when you know you need to work ;)
|Put sleeping tablets in there drinks when you know you need to work ;) |
So, every day? :(
You're right about I should not let the noise to distract me. I understand your point and I did it in the past.
No, that's not true. I'm doing _it_ right now.
I have learned to work this way since they started to talk.
But yesterday, it went to far, since I was interrupted, because I forgot to lock the door and they entered while I was doing a business call. Even the other person on the phone noticed it. When I send them out, they kept talking/yelling outside but I swear the sound was so clear, that the other person asked if I still had the kids with me. The wife was outside at that moment, so she could not help.
|I have a little office with a door, which I keep closed. But I hear everybody like they are behind me. |
Don't close the door - it's pointless and will only exacerbate your situation at a psychological level. Open the door, be part of the sound. If you specifically need a bit of quiet at times, ask for it.
If you are hidden behind the door your family can only think that the noise they make doesn't affect you. If you need quiet all the time, you're working in the wrong place. :)
Do you have a basement or a garage or an out house?
I had a prospective customer on the phone one afternoon who was sitting on the fence with regards to a sizeable order. He had a number of questions to ask and I was doing my best to answer them when suddenly my two dogs came crashing in from the back yard and began tearing the house apart as they chased each other around, barking and bumping into things and in general just creating total chaos. The prospective customer asked if these were dogs he heard barking in the background and I replied that yes, they were.
Prospective Customer: "Where are you at, in a kennel, ha ha ha?"
Me: "Ha ha.. well, actually sometimes it feels like it."
A dog lover himself, a pleasant conversation ensued covering the merits, or lack thereof, of living with these animals and concluded with a verbal commitment on the order. My noisy background had sealed the deal for me. My customer liked the idea that I worked from home and let large, loud dogs run at will. He was impressed with and could relate to that sort of casualness and wanted to buy from me when there were numerous other places he could have bought from. Obviously this won't work in every situation. In fact it'll probably never work again. I did want to point out that this sort of thing can actually benefit your standing with certain customers/clients. It may just as easily alienate them completely.
It certainly breaks the ice anyway...
|What do you recommend me to do? |
Sorry to be blunt, but both you and your wife seriously need to learn how to control your kids. It sounds like both of you have completely lost control over your kids, and noise while you are trying to work should be the least of your concerns right now. The fact that they are uncontrollable now does not bode well for the future, either yours or theirs. I only hope that you live in a detached house and not an apartment that subjects your immediate neighbors to the noise as well.
|The wife doesn't make it any easier. |
Does that mean she also contributes to the noise or that she doesn't do anything to keep the kids quiet? Either way, it's a very disturbing issue as well. It sounds like you are the primary breadwinner in the family. If so, then all 5 of you need to get that fact into your heads and understand the ramifications of you not being able to work.
If you can't control your environment, then I'd say your environment is not conducive to working at home and you should get a satellite office somewhere. But that's just tossing a bandaid on the problem- it doesn't fix the underlying problem.
Whenever my kids were noisy, I knew where they were, and what they are doing.
It's when they were quiet that I suspected they were doing something they were not suppose to be doing, and was having to get up and go see what they were up to.
Your wife should be helping you by taking them to the park, picnics etc. to give you some quiet time. Give her some money to take the kids out.
But I think that if they were quiet, you wouldn't be able to work either because you would be wondering why they are quiet.
Also I think sound travels up. We were recently in an 77 story building in New York, and could hear what people were saying on the sidewalk below.
|Do you have a basement or a garage or an out house? |
Yes a little porch that I could turn to an office, but I should get ride of one of my cars, lower-class houses in Mexico are built without garages
not even space in front to park more than one car.
Sorry to be blunt, but both you and your wife seriously need to learn how to control your kids.
... The fact that they are uncontrollable now...
Thanks for the advise, but I missed the part about being out of control. As I told they have a bold, high pitched voice just for _normal_ talking.
I could swear the girls can break a glass with a shout if they try it.
Most of the time the noise cames from playing. A few times for fighting. My house so much natural reverb, that I even have recorded me playing
classical guitar and it sounded like a professional recording (except for the mistakes of course). I can't punish them for playing or talk.
But what I will do, and I've just talk to my wife, is to try taking them to bed earlier.
To make logistic more clear, the house terrain is 20x8 meters all in one floor. Living room in front, bedrooms on rearmost, office in the middle.
My noisy background had sealed the deal for me.
Yes, sometimes it works. It wasn't in my case, since I lose seriousness with the other party.
|It's when they were quiet that I suspected they were doing something they were not suppose to be doing, and was having to get up and go see |
what they were up to.
Exactly!, but that's what the wife is for.
|Your wife should be helping you by taking them to the park, picnics etc. |
Yes!, we do that, but it's winter now!
What about "Quiet Time"? When your kids are too old to take naps, then you start Quiet Time.
You look at your watch and say, "Okay, it's "Quiet Time." During quiet time they are only allowed to do certain things, look at books, play a quiet game, work puzzles, build with Legos etc.
Start "Quiet Time" at a certain hour, and the first day just have quiet time a half hour, then extend it gradually every day.
They will be asking, "Is Quiet Time over yet?" You say, almost, just a few more minutes, etc.
This way your kids will learn how to play quietly.
It's amazing your kids aren't glued to the TV like other kids.
It's amazing your kids aren't glued to the TV like other kids.
My wife and I have always wondering that too!
They have a computer each, but they use it like an hour or two after doing their homework. Then it's "play time" until it's dinner time and then go bed.
Play time, includes drawing with crayons and playing with legos and magnetixs. The boy is building planes and robots all the time. And some structures that defy gravity!
The girls like puzzles more than legos, but also like the magnetixs.
All this is fine.
But it also includes, chasing each other around the house and when it is one the girlds who gets "trapped", I swear the shout and laughs can be here in the next block. We have a very small patio, but then again, it is winter now! I can't send them out.
I think they don't like the TV, because it is on a high stand, around 170cms above the floor. That makes it a bit uncomfortable unless what they are watching is really cool.
Now, that I mentioned winter several times, I realize this problem is more present in winter because it is so quiet. On summer, we have those noisy window air conditioning units and then, yes, the noise cancelling headphones does the job and all is bright...
I think you also have to realize that this is temporary, they will grow up (way quicker than you realize) and you'll look back on the time as being some of the most precious moments(the good and the not-so-good) you could possibly have in your lifetime.
My advice - work with your problem, its only a problem because you call it that. Be creative - like someone said - its not the noise that's the problem. Its your reaction to the noise.
Let the kids be kids - sounds like you might be getting advise here from people who do not have experience with children. Dude - you have 5 year old TRIPLETS - girls no less - go with the flow. Save your energy for when they become teenagers;).
|... they will grow up (way quicker than you realize) and you'll look back on the time as being some of the most precious moments(the good and the not-so-good) you could possibly have in your lifetime. |
Oh, God, that hurts. I try to don't think in that too much, because in our case it's so true, since we can't have more babies, when they are gone, they're gone.
But I can't wait till they are bigger to work. I need to work so I can send them to a private school (starts on Sep'08). Going to a public school in Mexico(no foreign language, no computing, no arts, no sports) is predestinating them to an uphill journey, just as I had.
And I don't want them to go that road.
|Sorry to be blunt, but both you and your wife seriously need to learn how to control your kids. It sounds like both of you have completely lost control over your kids, and noise while you are trying to work should be the least of your concerns right now. The fact that they are uncontrollable now does not bode well for the future, either yours or theirs. |
Most children cannot be 'controlled' in the manner you seem to be implying without some degree of violence or coercion by the parents. Some children (very strong-willed ones - about 15% of the population) cannot be controlled at all on the issues they feel strongly about without major degrees of violence. Mild to moderate coercion may not work at all. Not all parents are willing to go to these lengths - it can be very stressful on the parents and damaging to the children.
|Open the door, be part of the sound. If you specifically need a bit of quiet at times, ask for it. |
My husband and I both work from home, and that's sort of what we do here.
Our kids (10, 5) get a warning when the phone rings and we see via caller id it's an important call. The kids know to get quiet and do, most of the time. (of course, they've heard it since they were tiny babies - they've never known anything different)
Still random chaos has a tendency to break out at the wrong moment - that's life with kids. But it certainly beats driving to a job somewhere and only seeing the kids for moments each day. They won't be little forever - my 10 year old reminds me of this daily. :)
Talking about education of the kiddos: we're currently homeschooling the 10 yo, the 5 yo is in a mother's day out program 3 days a week. Right now, we get a 1-1/2 hour block a week when they're both in art class - leaving for that now - aah quiet adult discussion. :)
|Most children cannot be 'controlled' in the manner you seem to be implying without some degree of violence or coercion by the parents. |
Telling your kids "Daddy needs to work so you need to be quiet" (and expecting it of them) is too much control without having to resort to violence?! Please- that sounds like a cop-out to me. Far too many kids these days are out of control because their parents coddle them and don't accept their parenting responsibilities (I'm not saying this is the case in this situation), not because they are "uncontrollable."
I'm not advocating 24 hours of silence each day. But being able to expect an acceptable level of noise that allows you to work should be the norm, not the exception, during the hours you are supposed to be working.
[edited by: LifeinAsia at 7:00 pm (utc) on Mar. 8, 2007]
Telling your kids "Daddy needs to work so you need to be quiet" (and expecting it of them) is too much control without having to resort to violence?! Please- that sounds like a cop-out to me.
You are talking about 3 5 year olds here, you have to be realistic LIA. Kids are unpredictable at that age, sometimes they get so wound up that you tell them STOP, 10 seconds later they are doing it again. That's life. Am I advocating violence? Hell no, but a good whack on the backside is part of my routine, in fact I just dished one out this morning. Situation contained, no guilt here. You have to pragmatic and deal with the reality of the situation.
And really - you kind of have to be there to understand fully what its like to be a parent, so if you are not a parent, you really shouldn't be dishing out advice on how to be one. Simple. To me its like me telling a soldier what its like to be in battle, without having been there.
And to the OP - if the main reason you need quiet time is to answer clients phone calls and noise is a problem - you can purchase the headsets they wear on aircraft carriers, expensive but at around $300 its probably cheaper than soundproofing your office.
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