Our culture now assumes noise and the constant availability of music, electronic chatter, and entertainment. In many homes, there is virtually no silence — at least during waking hours. In some homes, family members live in isolated environments of independent sound, with iPods, televisions, radios, and any number of other technologies providing a customized experience of noise.
All this takes a toll upon the soul. Psychologists argue that the development of individual identity requires extended periods of solitude, reflection, and silence. The Christian tradition has honored silence as a matter of spiritual discipline and an intentional effort to flee the noise of everyday life in order to hear what noise cannot supply.
If this is true for adults, it is perhaps even more true for children. But today’s children are often subjected to a constant barrage of noise. Many are raised to the soundtrack of the television or other forms of entertainment. Some parents seem to fear silence and do their best to make certain that children are never without some form of sound.
Our need for silence