Guest Post by Jeana Kinne, M.A.
About the Author – Jeana Kinne, MA is an Early Childhood Developmental Specialist. She has worked as a parent educator, Preschool Director and Early Intervention Specialist with children with special needs. She loves working with families, providing them with solutions to common parenting concerns, resulting in stress-free parenting! Follow Jeana's blog to learn more parenting tips and strategies that support parents navigating through some of the most difficult and puzzling aspects of parenting at www.jdeducational.com.
What is that one song that makes you smile? You know, the one that stops you in your tracks as soon as it comes on...
Maybe you start tapping your feet? Maybe you start singing at the top of your lungs? Maybe you think back to an amazing memory that occurred when that song was playing?
Music can trigger so many different emotions.
Maybe for you, it's a song that is sad, happy or nostalgic? Maybe it reminds you of a time of frustration or hurt?
Listening to sounds, including music, familiar voices and nature can directly affect our mood in an instant.
Children have the same response.
You know that song “Baby Shark” that everyone who has young children has to listen to 100 times per day? It may bring a smile to your child’s eyes...and it may bring a look of despair to yours!
All it takes is one song to make us happy, sad, calm or maybe something else. As a parent, sometimes it is hard to calm our children down when they feel upset.
Music may be the answer that you have been searching for.
Here are the top 3 ways that music helps children calm down:
1. Music gets your child moving.
When we move, our body becomes a way of self-expression. Moving and dancing instantly raises our endorphin levels, enhancing our mood and lowering the stress built up within our body.
Children respond to movement instantly.
If your child is upset and is redirected to moving their body (either dancing, running, jumping or clapping) they are tapping into a part of our sensory system called “proprioceptive.” This calms children down by muscle contraction in immediate response to incoming information regarding external forces including joint position in the body. While dancing, your child is feels the impact of an outside force (the ground) on their joints, (their ankles and knees) immediately calming them down.
2. Music gets your child singing.
When you sing, you start thinking about the words, the beat, the “pauses” in the song. A child’s focus shifts from being angry to the song they are singing.
Part of calming down is taking deep breaths. Singing naturally includes deep breath patterns, such as the part of the song “Let it Go” (you know that one your child sings all the time) where your child pauses, takes a deep breath and belts out a phrase at the top of their lungs.
3. Music helps your child experience joy.
Music is contagious. If you know the words to a song, most people can’t help but join in. Dances (high school, community, events or others) bring people together around everyone's favorite music. People pay big money to attend concerts to hear their singers, songwriters and bands they love. The best part about attending dances and concerts is being around groups of people singing and dancing with you. When children experience music with their parents, they feel these same kinds of feelings. Joy is spread through musical encounters together.
Singing and dancing with your child helps them feel better instantly!
In addition to music, if you are looking for a simple way to teach your child these calm down strategies using music, my Soothing Sammy Collection would be a great place to start.
Soothing Sammy teaches children how to manage their emotions in a way they will understand, remember and implement.
The 4-Piece Soothing Sammy Collection helps to teach children these strategies in the way they learn the best - with objects that are visually appealing and tangible (objects they can hold.)
The first part of the Soothing Sammy Kit is a children's book. In the story, children visit Sammy, the golden retriever, at his dog house.
They feel upset and Sammy teaches them how to calm down using sensory tools, such as: smelling a pleasant scent (like lotion or a flower), crunching on a snack, jumping in a safe spot, singing along to a favorite song and more!
The second component is Sammy the Plush dog. This cuddly, soft, plush golden retriever that brings the children's book to life.
1. Follow the instructions in the back for the Soothing Sammy Book to learn how to construct a "Sammy house" (using an empty box or container) for Sammy to live in.
2. Place the suggested household items into Sammy's House (which were talked about in the book – including a CD with your child’s favorite song).
3. When your child becomes upset, redirect them to Sammy's house where they will be able to use his items to calm down in a safe and effective way.
With over 90 different feelings/emotions that the human heart can experience, it is hard for children to put feelings into words.
The "Emotions and Feelings" activities provide opportunities to learn vocabulary for describing their emotions. It also helps them to identify new feelings in themselves and others. Once your child is calm, ask them how they are feeling and why they are upset.
It offers positive parenting solutions to a variety of common situations (such as eating out in restaurants, going on long car rides, going shopping, sharing with siblings, leaving the park, waiting in a long line, etc).
The children’s book, along with Sammy the plush dog and parent guide was created to support stress-free parenting.
When parents have a plan, they are more confident, able to stay positive and learn how/why their little angels are acting the way they are.
My hope is that every family will enjoy every precious moment in their child's life. Soothing Sammy is here to help with that.
Use code SAVE10 to receive 10% off your purchase of the Soothing Sammy Kit. Orders over $100 ship for free -- no code needed.
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