Is your child often whiny, prone to hitting, or incessantly chatty? It’s important to understand that they’re not unruly; they simply need guidance in learning how to self-regulate.
As adults, when we find ourselves overstimulated or facing disappointment, we typically resort to techniques like taking deep breaths or going for a walk to maintain composure. Self-regulation is the key to balancing our nervous systems and accessing our logical thinking, housed in the prefrontal cortex.
Children, however, face two significant challenges in this regard:
1) They lack the innate tools to regulate their nervous systems.
2) Their prefrontal cortex is still developing, requiring additional support to nurture their logical faculties.
Enter the power of music!
Music stands out as one of the most effective tools for instilling calmness and fostering self-regulation while combating dysregulation. There are numerous scientific explanations, but the common thread is that music brings joy and satisfaction. When we experience joy, we naturally seek to relive it, don’t we?
Here are three musical approaches to aid children in their journey toward self-regulation:
**Pat or Tap to the Beat**
We are all born with an internal rhythm that we unconsciously seek. When we pat or tap to a beat, our body’s internal rhythms synchronize with it, either slowing down or speeding up as needed.
Rhythmic patterns provide predictability, which in turn creates a sense of safety and balance. For a fun activity, try “Hickory Dickory Dock” using the free Kindermusik App. For infants, gently bounce or pat them in time with the beat, while older toddlers and preschoolers can enjoy creating their own 1-2-3 pattern with a wooden spoon and pot.
**Find a Calm Song, Sing, and Sway**
Research shows that singing has a calming effect on babies, lasting twice as long as talking. Singing effortlessly captures the attention of children of all ages and simultaneously reduces heart rate, working diligently to balance their nervous systems.
Consider using the “All through the Night” song available on the free Kindermusik App. For babies and young toddlers, cuddle and gently sway to the music. Older toddlers and children who prefer a bit more independence can use lightweight scarves, dish towels, or a pillowcase as props to enhance their imaginative play.
**Dance in Harmony**
When we dance in unison, following the same steps and movements, our boundaries blur, our sense of belonging grows stronger, and our communication becomes more robust. This phenomenon holds true for children as well!
Recall the classic tune “Teddy Bear”? Stream it on the Kindermusik app and witness how it transforms the atmosphere with enhanced focus, active listening, and delightful giggles. For infants and pre-walkers, simply hold them while you perform the dance steps together. They’ll still experience the comfort and security of moving with you.
Remember, self-regulation is a gradual process for children. As adults, our role is to identify tools that resonate with their minds and bodies. Music, with its ability to touch upon everything from internal rhythms to emotions, serves as an excellent starting point in this journey.
Come to a class and find out more!
Music and dance have held a significant place in my life since my earliest childhood memories. It's been a lifelong aspiration of mine to work with children, nurturing their growth and creativity through these art forms, ultimately bringing them joy and a means for self-expression.
My professional background has primarily revolved around human resources, recruitment, and finance, all driven by my innate interest in people and psychology. This passion has been further fueled by my academic pursuits in counseling.
In July 2021, I assumed ownership of Kindermusik by Jan, taking the reins from the founders, Jan and Scott. My journey with Kindermusik began six years ago when I enrolled my two children in the program. Witnessing their enthusiasm and growth throughout these years has been incredibly rewarding. While my daughter has now graduated from Kindermusik, my son continues to embark on his Kindermusik journey.
Observing the tremendous fun and the boost in their self-assurance during these classes has left me with no doubt that Kindermusik has played a pivotal role in their development. As a parent, I have personally experienced the benefits of Kindermusik, and I am deeply passionate about extending these same benefits to families in the Mid Sussex area.
Being able to deliver a unique blend of fun and enthusiasm to children and their families through our classes, thanks to our exceptional team of educators, is an extraordinary privilege. I am proud to mention that Kindermusik by Jan has been recognised as a top program for the past three years by Kindermusik International, earning us a coveted spot among the top 100 Kindermusik programs worldwide. Additionally, we have received formal Kindermusik full accreditation, enabling us to teach all levels within our program. This is a remarkable achievement that underscores our commitment to providing the best possible experience for your children and families.