Music soothes the savage beast (the fussy child)
Posted on 19 August 2015
We have all tried using music to affect our mood or our child's mood. In the morning we play upbeat songs to wake ourselves up and help us get ready for the day. At night we generally listen to slower songs so that we start winding down. Such is the power of music that we use it to set the tone of our next activity or mode.
Music can be used to set the tone of the day or the next activity for your child too. Of course we don't mean that you have to wake your slumbering baby with loud music. If time permits, allow them to wake up on their own. Let them enjoy their sleep even though they may not necessarily let you enjoy yours. When they are awake and its time to exercise or get ready to go to school playing some fun upbeat music can help get them in the mood. Don't forget to continue the singing and dancing in the car but make sure that you are not too distracted if you are driving.
We use music to help us express our emotions and to put is in the mood. Our children are no different and finding the right mix of music to play throughout the day can help you and your child get through a full day's work and play.
Studies have reinforced the general notion that music affects our senses and the way we feel. The type of music we listen to can have a positive or a negative effect on our mood. When it is time to be active play fast and upbeat songs. Kids in school love to stand up and start dancing when they hear a fun song. It is also good to try playing these songs if they are feeling down. It may just be what they need to make them their own cheery self again.
But one of the best uses for music that we have found is when we have a fussy or cranky child. We have a playlist of lullabies and gentle soothing music and we just start playing those. They don't have to be loud, in fact, setting them as background music can have an even better effect on children. Subconsciously their brains will still hear the music and their brains will react to the calming music.
When we hear or feel music, our brains and bodies instinctively try to match the rhythms and the beat. This is why you'll often find that you have been tapping your toes or swaying along to the music. If you have never paid close attention to how your body reacts instinctively to music make a mental note to observe how your body rhythm changes. You can also do a little experiment with your babies or toddlers. Look at their body language when you play certain songs.
Of course, music will not work all the time and it may not be easy to remember to play soothing music when you are stressed out because of your child. Using music in stressful situations is quite similar to music being used as therapy. You may have to take some time to determine which songs actually help calm your child. Not all children will enjoy lullabies. We have seen some kids immediately calm down and go to sleep to rock music. So every child will have that special song. The trick is to discover the song as soon as possible so you can use it.
The next time your little one becomes testy or fussy try playing a familiar song that you play or sing. Songs that they hear during nap time or bedtime may work the best. Use the same trick to help you relax too. Remember that music soothes the fussy child or the savage beast, or the stressed out parent.