Helping Children Overcome Stress and Fear - By Debbie Milam
News of an impending war, terrorism alerts, and the economy has created an enormous
amount of stress for many adults and this stress greatly affects our children. When
we are fearful, are children are fearful. When we are stressed, our children are
stressed. So what steps can we take to help ourselves and our children let go of
stress and fear?
? Make time to de-stress yourself: One of the most powerful ways to distress
yourself is waking up half hour before your kids and spending that time in meditation
or prayer. Journaling is also another wonderful tool to help release stress. Finally,
spend some time nurturing yourself by taking a warm bath with lavender oil and kosher
salt, give yourself a massage, exercise, or go for a walk.
? Turn off the news: As negative as the news is for adults it is even more fear
evoking for a child. If you choose to teach your children about world events do
so by reading the headlines on the internet or in newspaper together.
? Teach children to meditate: Children are perfect candidates for meditation
because they have such vivid s. A simple way to begin is to have your
child find a quiet spot where they won?t be disturbed. Have them close your eyes
and ask them to take a deep breath in through their nose and feel the breath travel
down into their belly. Have them hold the breath for several seconds and exhale
through their mouth. Repeat this 3 times. This type of breathing is very effective
to use whenever you or your children are having a stressful moment. Then simply
have them think about playing at the beach or in a park.
? Pray together: Teaching children that there is a force beyond themselves that
they can turn to when they are stressed or fearful is extremely powerful. Teach
your children to call upon whatever spiritual force your family believes in.
? Laugh: Laughter is one of the most powerful tools for reducing stress and fear.
Read joke books, have a silly face contest, watch a funny movie, find humor in every
situation, learn to laugh at yourself and teach your children to laugh at themselves
? Spend time with your children outside in nature: Nature has a wonderfully calming
effect on the body, mind, and spirit. Take time when you or your children are stressed
or fearful to visit the beach, a park, or the mountains.
? Listen to beautiful music together: New Age, Classical, Jazz, or Nature Sounds
helps to quiet down fearful and stressful thoughts in both adults and children.
? Spend time talking about their fears: Sometimes children just need to express
what is on their mind. Work together to seek solutions for overcoming fear.
? If your children?s fear or stress level is limiting them from enjoying life
seek professional help: There are wonderful play therapists that can help children
relax and let go of fear.
As parents and educators there are so many ways we can encourage our children
to face their fears and overcome the stress. By empowering them with these strategies
they can truly achieve their highest potential.
Debbie Milam is a pediatric occupational
therapist, health and wellness consultant and motivational speaker whose products
and services offer simple solutions for overcoming life?s challenges. Her newest
product The Miracle is You CD can guide your children on a magical journey of story,
song and meditation. Visit her online at
and discover the many ways you and your children can relax and reach your extraordinary
Jammin` with Your Kids: The Wonderful World of Music - By Francie Kelley
Does music need to be ?dumbed-down? for kids? The answer became quite clear
to me and my husband as we observed how our own child responded to complex melodies
and varied musical styles in the first months of her life.
When I embarked on the recording of my children?s music CD (?Wake Up & Go To
Sleep?, Artsong Music) shortly after my daughter was born, it didn?t occur to me
to create a happy little watered down collection of songs made just for young listeners.
The songs simply evolved as the experiential narrative of a new mom.
My husband, jazz guitarist and composer Pat Kelley, arranged and produced the
CD bringing his rich diverse musical experience into play and giving the CD a broad
stylistic range. Our daughter Katie seemed delighted by the whole project, which
took four years to complete. She even contributed song writing and vocal performances.
It was only later, when the CD was released and people began to listen, that
we discovered how much parents were moved by it. We have received many thanks for
creating music that is a pleasure to listen to alone and with children.
Children have a more innate ability to absorb music than most adults. At a young
age they have minds that are open to everything rather than filled with influences
telling them what they should and should not like. Our daughter feels joy listening
to Mozart, Hawaiian music, The Beatles, or Glenn Miller. Music only requires an
open mind to find enjoyment in its beauty.
The earliest experience of music is in a child?s first cry. Crying has tone and
is the earliest sound that expresses emotion. For many infants, the next experience
of music is the intimate songs a mother sings as she rocks and soothes her baby
to sleep. Indeed this is a mother?s own sound language that is completely unique
to her and her baby. These may be some of the most meaningful and bonding moments
of the mother/infant relationship.
But where do you go from here? If you begin to expose babies to myriad musical
styles, you can witness early responses. Even in the early weeks of life, a baby
will respond to complex classical works. Our daughter at three weeks old reacted
to a Rachmaninoff piano concerto, eyes searching, facial changes pronounced. Clearly
these sounds had a dramatic and positive effect. After having been very active kicking
and fussing, she became still, seemingly enthralled in the music.
By exposing kids to a variety of musical styles, they begin to develop their
response to what moves them to sing and dance, or be calmed, and even what turns
them off. Critical listening can start early. And by exposing them to varied music
they will develop the ability to appreciate many different styles. Your kids are
completely open and ready to absorb anything new. There is no reason to limit what
they hear just because you might think they are too young to understand it. Great
music does not require understanding to be enjoyed and absorbed on the most organic
Sometimes music helps children express what they aren?t able to articulate. In
the earliest days, it is often simply the sheer joy of singing and using the voice
that enables a child to begin to develop a love of music. Singing just feels good,
both emotionally and physically to a child. Dancing or moving to music is a natural
expression of rhythm, which is part of life. Encourage your children to sing and
dance and they will be more free and expressive.
As you explore the world of children?s music, also introduce the music you like
to your kids. This can be a time for both of you to explore new musical styles such
as jazz, classical, bluegrass, blues, funk, and a variety of world and ethnic music.
If you aren?t sure what to buy, visit your local library. Most libraries have a
very good section of CDs in a broad range of styles. Ask the librarian for suggestions.
Try checking out a different style CD each week. Of course you can browse the Internet
and visit your favorite on-line music stores. Many sites offer downloadable music
Music is at the heart of a child?s spirit. In our CD ?Wake Up & Go To Sleep?
we celebrate that spirit and the preciousness of childhood. We make music for fun
and for interaction. Music should inspire little souls to think outside the box!
As your children develop a musical vocabulary, let them take you along for the
Attend outdoor concerts where kids can dance and run around to the music. Many
venues offer free concerts in the summer, in a variety of styles. Get Jammin? with
your kids. It?s a blast!
Let music fill your children?s hearts with joy, and in return it will do the
same for you.
Francie Kelley is a singer, songwriter,
art dealer and mom. Her CD "Wake Up and Go to Sleep" is the winner of a prestigious
2003 Parent`s Choice Award and is available on Amazon.com and CDBaby.com. For more
info about Francie and her music, visit http://www.franciekelley.com
Children articles index
- Brains on Fire: The Multimodality of Gifted Thinkers - By Brock Eide
- laying Baby Computer Games ? The New Parent-Child Tradition? - By Emma
- Book Excerpt: Einstein Never Used Flash Cards - By Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Ph
- Putting Fun Into Parenting - By David Stoepker, Psy.D., & Erin Brown Con
- Preparing Your Child for a High-Tech Future - By Sue Sato
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder - Predominantly Inattentive
- Abandonment - By Sonya Green
- Explaining Suicide to Children - by Tracy Pierson
- Our Children`s Needs - by Robert Elias Najemy
- How to Develop Self-Esteem in Children - By J. Bailey Molineux, Ph.D.
- Helping Children Overcome Stress and Fear - By Debbie Milam
- Do you Shout at YOUR children? - By James Middleton
- Book Excerpt: Helping Children with Autism Learn - By Bryna Siegel,
- SPEED SPELLING: Another way to use speed reading skills for "schoolwork&q
- Children and Stress - By Laura Silva Quesada
- Boundaries- Why Are They Needed? - by Derek Randel & Gail Randel M.D.
- Juggling Home
- Explaining World tragedy to Children - By Chick Moorman and Thomas Ha
- Children and Pessimism - By Carol Tuttle
- Loving Yourself, Loving Your Children - By Margaret Paul, Ph.D.
- Social Manners for Children - By Susan Dunn, The EQ Coach
- The Sexual Abuse of Children - By J. Bailey Molineux
- A Few Simple Truths About ADHD and Stimulant Drugs - By Steve Edelman1,
- DYSLEXICS and A.D.D. KIDS BECOME GIFTED SPEED READERS - by George Stanc
- Using Feng Shui for Better Behaved Children - By Kathryn Weber
- Book Excerpt: Helping Children with Autism Learn - By Bryna Siegel,
- Five Keys to Raising Nonviolent Children - By Tammy Cox, LMSW
- The Best Way to Reduce Stress: Start Young - By Zach Brull
- Your Child?s Self-Esteem is in The Cards - By Susan Howson
- Calming Tips for Hyperactive Children - By Jeannine Virtue
- What is ADHD? - By Jeannine Virtue
- Talking to Your Children About Sex - By Jan Andersen
- How Our Children Really Learn And Why They Need To Play More And Memo
- HOW DO WE PROTECT OUR CHILDREN FROM PREDATORS? - By Linda J Alexander,
- Teach Children Positive Self-Image Through Fitness - By Lynn Bode
- No Invitation Needed -- Part 3 of 3 Sacred Children Series - By Skye T
- Helping Our Children Feel Good About Themselves - By Dr.Barbara Becker Hol
- Unidentified Stepfamily Zones - Discoveries Made at a Stepfamily Confer
- Divorce and Children: Things To Consider When You`re Staying Married
- Six facts you should know to empower your teaching. - By Emmanuel
- Are You in an Abusive Situation? - by Colin Gabriel Hatcher & Randall
- The Divorce Revolution Has Failed - By J. Bailey Molineux
- Is Your Child Well-Mannered? - By Mary Jesse
- Jesus` Birthday -- Part 2 of 3 Sacred Children Series - By Skye T
- Empty Nesters: What Should You Do Once the Children Leave? - By Mary Guar
- We should celebrate the diversity of children and adults - By Robyn M
- How to Cope with Back to School Stress - By Debbie Mandel
- HIS KIDS: BECOMING A W.O.W. STEPMOTHER - by Julie Donner Andersen
- ADD / ADHD Children : Being Your Child`s Best Friend - By Kate Hufst