We do a number of things to keep the noise down in our house. One, whenever too many kids are talking or shouting over one another, I (Wendy) will yell “Tower!” and the kids must reply in unison, “Babel!” Then silence is expected. I then get the chance to talk and everyone listens to me.
We also have a daily “quiet time” where the children are required to find something to do by themselves that is quiet. This can include reading, doing homework, playing a game, or working on a project. This is usually the time I take advantage of to take a nap!
A general rule that we try to keep is avoiding talking over other people. When eating a meal together, we practice this often. This teaches the kids to be considerate of others and listen or join in conversation. This is challenging for little kids, but not impossible.
Believe it or not, this is only 4 families enjoying one another on New Years Eve 2004.