Dear American Girl,
I am the only girl in a family with lots of noisy brothers. I love them all, but sometimes they drive me crazy, especially when I'm trying to do schoolwork. I never seem to find peace and quiet, no matter where I go in my house. What can I do?
Here's your advice:
Talk to your parents about creating your own space. You could make space in your room for a little chair or ask to have a corner of the basement. It might be a peaceful place to do homework.
-Alana, age 12, Georgia
When you need to study or do schoolwork, you could go to a local library. It's usually quiet there, and nobody will bother you.
-Ruby, age 8, New Jersey
Try doing your homework while wearing headphones. You don't need to listen to music—the headphones could block out some of the background noise.
-Anika, age 12, New York
I have a small dry-erase board on my bedroom door. When I need to concentrate on something, I'll write "Quiet, please" on the board. That usually lets my sisters know to keep the noise down.
-Jillian, age 10, Georgia
Before sitting down to do homework, come up with an activity that might distract your brothers, such as turning on their favorite TV show.
-Anna, age 9, California
My advice is to call a family meeting. Talk to your brothers about ways to quiet down, especially when one or more of you are doing homework. This might help everyone when it comes time to study or do other quiet activities.
-Grace, age 11, Massachusetts
Go outside. There's lots of room out there! Your backyard, a local park, or even a nearby coffee shop might be a perfect place to find peace and quiet.
-Kaleigh, age 10, Oregon
The next time your brothers are noisy, you could say, "Hey, I'm trying to study for a big science test tomorrow. Would you mind being a little quieter or going into another room? I'd really appreciate it." If you're nice, your brothers might not have a problem with quieting down.
-Allison, age 12, Kansas
Explain to your brothers why you need time alone sometimes. If they see how important your homework is or that you just need a chance to unwind, they might be able to understand how you would like to spend your time.
-Katie, age 8, Georgia
Try to set up study sessions at friends' houses every once in a while. It'll give you a break from the noise.
-Melanie, age 11, California
Ask your brothers if you all can have a "quiet hour" every day. They can take a nap or read a book while you work on homework or have a phone chat with a friend. This could help you and your brothers work around each other.
-Lauren, age 12, Connecticut
Tell your brothers that if they can stay quiet, you'll play a fun game with them as soon as you're done with your work. That might be a good incentive for them to keep it down.
-Kaitlin, age 10, Utah
My siblings and I have an agreement. We don't ever bother each other if we're doing schoolwork or having time with our friends. See if you can make a similar deal with your brothers. But make sure that you don't leave your brothers out of your life too much. If you ignore them, they'll feel left out, and they might start to bug you for attention.
-Adriel, age 12, New York
I have four older brothers who constantly make noise. The best advice I can give is be patient. Whenever you start feeling aggravated, count to five and take a deep breath. Then calmly ask them if they can be quiet for at least a half hour. Set a timer if you need to. Good luck!
-Grace, age 13, Illinois