Using Music in Parenting

typorama

Sometimes as the mom of five loud, active, (have I mentioned loud?) kids, the last thing I want to do is add more noise to my day. I relish the moments of silence where I can think or just listen to an audio book. However, I have found that music helps me shed a bad mood, find strength, or calm down when I am having a difficult time doing this on my own. And I have found the same techniques work on my children.

I have 3 ways that I have incorporated music into my day to help me and my children.

Epic Music

I love to listen to audiobooks in the morning while getting ready. However, I changed my routine a while ago and started listening to music. And not just any music. Epic music. Big music. Inspiring (mostly wordless) music. Why? Because on the mornings that I do this, I find that I have ideas and solutions come to me about things I have been pondering about. Just the other day instead of listening to the latest audio book (don’t worry, laundry time totally is audio book time, I mean really. What is a day without books?) I turned on my Pandora and chose the Epic Soundtracks Radio. BJ and I listen to this quite often. As I thought about my day, I remembered things I needed to do, people that I needed to call. I thought about a friend who was going through a difficult time. I was able to write all these things down and complete my tasks. I love productive days, don’t you?

But the other reason I love Epic music in the morning is because of how I feel. You can’t listen to Arrival At Aslan’s How from the Chronicles of Narnia or anything from Lord of the Rings without standing a little straighter and feeling more powerful.  It’s energizing. The other day as I was leaving my bathroom, this song started: Star Wars.  Click and listen for a moment. I mean really. Can you image listening to this song right before you go into an IEP (Individual Education Plan) meeting? Or even before making dinner for your kids? Or taking out the trash? I just feel powerful. More energized. Even boring mundane things become “epic” when your energy changes.

Using this music for your kids before a test, before an event that scares them or just to start their day can be empowering for them as well. Just be aware of how your child reacts to music; for some kiddos, music is sensory overload! And we don’t want to go there. And I wouldn’t turn this music on while arguing or while a melt-down is going on. That isn’t the type of energy we are seeking during those moments.

60 Seconds of Insane Happiness

During my day there are times when my energy lags. Or some days my depression may be stronger (meds don’t cure everything). Or other days I just feel blah, but I have kids coming home, dinner to make, and carpool to run. And all I want to do is crawl back into bed. I can play epic music, but I like to turn on my favorite dance tunes and do 60 of insane happiness.

What is 60 seconds of insane happiness, you ask? Well, I play a song like this, and dance, jump, sing at the top of my lungs and get crazy. This activity is one the kids LOVE! Go ahead, click on the link above. I bet you can’t help it, you’ll start to dance, and laugh, and then? Within 60 seconds you’ll be energized, happy, and ready to roll. Try it, I can guarantee the kids will laugh along and everyone will be in a better mood.

Winding Down

Evenings can be a rough time. Getting my kids to bed can be one of the most exhausting parts of my day. So I have used this time to play music. I choose simple, soothing music. I like classical, but some classical can still get a bit energizing. (Not the mood I’m going for at bedtime). I have created my own bedtime playlist and used that as the kids get ready for bed. This worked better when they were younger and didn’t have their own opinions on music. Amazon has a Classical Lullabies album that has all my favorites on it. This is a list of some of the songs I have used:

  • Pachelbel’s Canon in D
  • Fur Elise
  • Greensleeves
  • Brahms Lullaby
  • Clair de Lune

The Song Clair de Lune reminds me of my own bedtime routine as a little girl. My father played the piano, and some evenings (when we were probably giving him a difficult time) my father would sit at the piano and play after we were in bed. I remember laying in the cool sheets, breathing slowly, and listening to Clair de Lune, Speak Softly Love, or A Time for Us as my father’s hands gently played. I felt such love from him as he played for us. It is one of my favorite childhood memories. I wish he could come play my children to sleep each night, too. What a unique memory of him that brings. Music is powerful. Create memories of music with your children.

Music changes our energy and it can help us change our mood so that we can better parent. Parenting is hard. Use all the tools you can find to be a better parent. Music is an easy, quick fix for some of the problems we run into during our days. Now if I could just figure out how to get my dad and a piano to follow me around all day . . . .

Linking up with The Life of Faith Monday Mommy Moments. Check it out here.

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I am the mom of five beautiful adopted children, three of which have special needs. I love to write about the lessons I've learned while raising my children in order to help others. Join us for some fun, a few tears and lots of laughs.

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