Life is too hectic and you don’t find time to slow down and smell the roses? Looking for a magic solution to defuse meltdowns and get your kids to wind down so they can go to sleep quietly and quickly? Are your older kids often at each other’s throats because sensitive ears cannot tolerate the surrounding sounds? Calming, stress relieving, relaxing music is perhaps just what is needed to manage inappropriate behaviors and bring smiles all around.
Research has shown the profound effect music has on your mood and body. Music Therapy is now used to help cancer patients, to help with pain management in hospitals, to ease depression and muscle tension, and to connect with individual with autism, just to mention a few uses.
Jessica Hunt is the director of occupational therapy and sensory integration programs at the Kaufman Children’s Center. In a post she wrote about how mucic can help children with special needs for The Friendship Circle Special Needs Blog she said, ” When we hear or feel an external source of rhythm such as music, our bodies instinctively try to match our own rhythms to the beat. The beats per minute of a piece of music help give the body and brain different input. For example:
- 130 beats per minute is great for high-intensity cardio.
- 100 beats per minute is best to help with attention to task.
- 60 beats per minute is good for before bed because it helps to return the body’s natural rhythm to a calm state.”
Improve the Work and Study Environment with Music
Many individuals, especially those with Tourette syndrome, autism, Asperger’s, sensory processing issues, ADHD, or other special needs are unable to work or study in many environments because of aggravating sounds made by humans and humming motors. I can see how music would allow them to battle the beeps and buzzes and keep them busy doing their work or studies.
Calm and Relax Hyper Students with Music
Teachers or any caregiver working with individuals who would benefit from a calming atmosphere could try music to help them comfort and settle back those in their care. What a great solution to help young students rest after lunch or quiet them for circle times or read-alouds. At home in the homework nook, music should be playing to drown out the family distractions to facilitate completion of assignments in a timely manner.
No more Bed Time Battles
The many overwhelmed parents coping with children who cannot fall asleep at night or for daytime naps will find that music can become their sandman at the press of a button. Music-assisted relaxation may also improve sleep quality, according to a report published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing in 2009.
We know tweens and teens also suffer from insomnia often brought on by anxiety and stress. Introducing our youth to simple relaxation, stress management tools like music and yoga to their bedtime routine can change their lives.
No More Counting Sheep
There are numerous adults who also have difficulty shutting off the day’s events or the challenges of the next day. They can greatly benefit from serene music that can give them peace of mind so they can find restorative, quality sleep.
My daughter works in a mental health crises center. She explained that for very ill drop-ins they offer a few nights’ accommodations to stabilize them. To drown out unfamiliar sounds, calm and relax these agitated individuals they play relaxing music to get them to unwind. Then tranquil melodies are also played in their bedrooms to help them de-stress, find some peace, and drift off to sleep.
What Your Child Needs to Benefit Most from Music
Find the right music for him. Finding the just right music he finds enjoyable and soothing might take a while and lots of patience on your part. The same music to calm him for sleep might also be the key to defuse meltdowns during the day or make those long car rides more pleasant. With all the ways to access music and then have the music you have chosen readily available when it is needed makes the process easier.
Buy good quality electronics but those made for children that will withstand being dropped and carted around all day. You will need an audio player and a good pair of headphones. For younger children do not get the earphones you place IN the ear, get instead the kind that have cushioned ear-muffs. These seal out sound with cushioned ear covers that are durable, lightweight and adjustable for a comfortable fit.
Research has shown that lower tempo music can really be a tool caregivers can use to promote a calming state by slowing down the heart and breathing rates for effective relaxation. Parents should really give music a try because it is easy, low cost, and safe.
Relaxing Music I Like
Escapes, Music for Relaxing by Jeff Gold is one of my favorite music CD. My review of this CD is here. Jeff Gold provides one hour of magical, breathe easy, restful instrumental music for all ages and ailments. The mainly piano, acoustic guitars, strings and flutes music is free of true rhythmic instrumentation (drums); therefore, Jeff’s arrangements allow the listener to completely fall in a dreaminess state.
On the jacket cover it is described as “One hour of soothing instrumental music to uplift and revive you. As refreshing as a long walk along a perfect beach, ‘Escapes’ is the ideal tempo and rhythm for creative inspiration, massage, yoga, scenic drives or just winding down.”
Mr. Gold said that he hoped his CD Escapes would make this world we live in a calmer, more relaxing place. Well Jeff Gold, mission accomplished!
Why not give calming, relaxing music a try for a solution to some of your parenting problems?