After this weekend’s disaster at the restaurant, I decided to give more advice / tips on handling these kinds of things, because I got a lot of feedback from others that has the same issues.
Following these tips can help you and your loved one to function much better in a noisy area.
- Warn them before the time. If they know what is about to happen, they can mentally prepare for it. It might sound ‘simple’ but it really helps to know what you are stepping into
- Earplugs!!! Or earmuffs. Or in our case – earphones. Do what is best for you to cancel some of the noise out. Just make sure they can still hear you. If helps them focus more on what they are doing and just takes away some of the background noise. It works like a charm
- Let others help. My children loves smoothies, but both hate the noise the smoothie maker makes. The little one actually calls it ‘the loud’. If she asks for ‘loud’, she wants a smoothie. We made it a game. If I go make it in the kitchen, both girls jumps on daddy and hide under his arms. Causing lots of giggles. As soon as the machine stops, they jump off and runs to the kitchen for their smoothies. Get the family involved. My 3 year old knows when things gets too much for the 1 year old, she will take her hand and take her outside. It’s a family problem, not an individual problem.
- Go to malls and play areas during the week if possible. We prefer to take them to play parks during the week. There aren’t a lot of children around, they have more space to play and the noise if much less. If you are going to a new place, tell them what they are going to see and what to expect and make sure before the time there aren’t going to be a function with lots of noise (sometimes schools will have day trips etc. Phoning the play center to hear if they have bookings might be a good idea as well)
- Teach them it’s okay to say no. A while ago one of my friends wanted to touch and play with my 1 year old. She felt very uncomfortable being touched and she lifted her hand and said: STOP! I felt so proud of her. She needs to know it’s okay to say if she is uncomfortable in a situation. Letting you know they are unhappy before the melt down will empower you to get them out before things gets out of control
- Let them make some noise. This might sound weird, but let them make some noise themselves. A lot of noise sensitivity has to do with ‘feeling out of control’. If they can control the noise, they are more at ease. Usually children with noise sensitivity are the noisiest!
- Use your ipad, phone, tablet to distract them. If they focus on something they enjoy, other noise becomes background noise and they do not focus that much on it. Distract them with their favorite youtube channel. I have no idea what we would have done without youtube!
- Expose them to more noise. I am very guilty here. I try to protect them and keep them away from noise. And then things like the weekend happen, when they have to be in noise and a meltdown happens. The more they are around noise, the more it will be just part of their lives. We are working on this one…..