Children older than about 4 benefit from learning how to be silent (for little ones it is next to impossible). We learn to be comfortable with ourselves; we give others a break from our chatter; we may even hear the voice of God. Some ideas:
• Send kids to their rooms, not as a punishment but as a place to go. They may do anything they want for a half hour—but no TV, computer, or iPod. Make sure there are art supplies, writing supplies, or building materials.
• No talking until the next stoplight. When arguments flare in the car, declare a moratorium on talking until a certain landmark.
• Take kids to Eucharistic Adoration; stop into an empty church for 10 minutes. Sit, kneel, or walk around the church in silence.