Noisy Silence

Years ago, while living in New Zealand, we were invited to a BBQ with some families and coworkers.  Our boys, ages three and five, were busy playing and exploring while we adults conversed.  Suddenly, I realized that their noises had stopped.  The silence was deafening.  My host and I searched for the boys and found them in the master bedroom, where they were busy plastering each other, the bed, dresser, quilt, and curtains with white, pasty diaper cream.  Our host was visibly shaken and I was mortified.  Needless to say, we were never invited back to their home again.


It doesn’t take long for our children to get into a drawer full of make-up, a pantry full of food, diaper cream, or into an unguarded pool.  This is when noise is our friend!  Keeping our children within eye and ear shot is vital.  If you can’t see or hear them, expect trouble.  Here are some tips for monitoring our children:


  • When visiting friends and relatives, do not assume that someone else is watching your children. They always remain your responsibility.
  • When you are visiting, adjust your location to provide maximum access and surveillance on your children because, when they can see you, they make better choices.
  • Carpet squares set boundaries for our children and can be purchased at local carpet store for pennies. Let your children pick their color and when you visit friends or family give them time on their carpet to read a book, color, or play with a toy.
  • Audio and digital monitors are ridiculously inexpensive right now. Let them be your eyes and ears when necessary.


When it comes to children, the age-old adage, silence is golden, doesn’t often apply.  Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child: expect it, plan for it, and be willing to forgive it.

Vicki and her husband Terry are the parents of eight children and were named Colorado Parents of the Year and Family of the Year, 2001.  Vicki is the author of two books, many articles, former talk show host, and has appeared on numerous television and radio programs.  To get your parenting questions answered, write to Vicki at

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