Childhood is supposed to be a carefree time when kids have no care in the world. But the truth is, even young kids cannot elude stress as everyday life offers many occasions to make them anxious. The pressures of dealing with the day-to-day life can leave your kids feeling mentally and emotionally drained.
Examples include pre-schoolers experiencing anxiety when leaving their parents for the first time, school curriculum leaving students feeling out of their depth at times, teenagers struggling to fit into their social circles and meeting their parents’ expectations. Stress is an unwelcome companion in everyone’s lives, but with kids, they often need parental guidance on how to manoeuvre through these stressful situations.
It’s M for Music
They say that music transcends barriers and rightly so. Music is therapeutic and has proven its worth in treating issues like depression, anxiety, and behavioural problems. The best part about music is that it does not mandate special time aside as your kid can listen to music seamlessly while going about with their day’s activities.
For instance, music is the best alternative to drown out the traffic sounds and pollution while being driven to school during rush hours. Getting your child to listen to soothing classical music in the mornings can set the pace for the rest of the day.
How does music positively impact our body?
Science has proven that listening to certain music releases dopamine in our body - which is the pleasure-seeking chemical in the brain. It is a natural way to hit the pleasure zones of our mind. Thus, listening to relaxing music gives way to physiological changes in our body like soothing the senses, bringing down the heart rate, and elevating one’s mood. Getting lost in the rhythm of a song acts as the perfect distraction and your children will find themselves leaving their worries behind.
What are the ways to inculcate music in your kids’ life?
Parents should consider introducing music into their children’s lives from early on so that they have a fun and useful coping mechanism. Some effective ways are mentioned below:
Be it piano, guitar, or any other instrument, learning to create those soothing melodies while interacting with other kids their age will act as the perfect stress-buster.
You can also have loads of fun creating musical instruments with your child at home. Online websites can guide you in making creative yet straightforward instruments like the balloon bongo, the Popsicle stick harmonica, etc. Your kid will love the creative aspect of it, and at the same time, it will take their mind off their daily worries and focus on being productive.
Make music a part of your home culture wherein you can have jamming sessions together. You can also put on performances for friends and relatives at functions, and the highly interactive environment will help build their self-esteem and keep anxiety at bay.
Musical plays and concerts are the perfect way to develop their artistic taste buds and expose them to different cultures, new ideas and make them more aware of their surroundings. Thus, focusing on other stuff and putting their issues in perspective.
Make a playlist of your child’s favourite songs, and you can play the music at home in the background to help them internalize its calming effects. So that the next time they are faced with anger or frustration, they have a way to blow off steam more naturally.
When kids enter stressful situations, their natural responses are easier to detect like rapid and shallow breathing and increased heart rate. Parents can use music to engage them by getting them to concentrate and breathe slowly in sync with a particular song. They will gradually cool down and be able to regroup.
What is the best kind of music to relieve stress?
Classical music (Indian or western) is said to have soothing effects on the mind and body. When your child is anxious, playing classical music can calm those fraying nerves, lower their pulse and heart rate, and also bring down the level of stress hormones. The homophonic or polyphonic tones in classical music can stimulate the release of the “feel good hormone” dopamine and inhibit the stress hormones thus creating a pleasant mood.
As children are continually learning new things and are thrust into unfamiliar situations, stress levels are likely to go up. Not having a healthy way to counterbalance these negative emotions can lead to anxiety. At such times, music comes to our rescue as it engages us emotionally and is capable of bringing out positive sentiments. Kids need more and more positive reinforcements to develop into competent adults who can navigate through the inevitable stressful nature of life in general.
We would love to hear from you about how music has helped your child battle their daily stressful life. Also, feel free to share your ideas and thoughts on this article in the comments section below.
Until then, Happy Parenting!