The Real Reason to Sing Lullabies
There's evidence to suggest that lullabies reduce stress and relieve pain for infants. It's cool to know that our ancient instinct to sing to crying babies has the ability slow their heart rate and help them feel calm. I like the, "shh shh shhhh..." method too.
I spent A LOT of time bouncing, rocking and shhhing my baby girl when she was tiny. It did help her. But it also slowed my heart rate, chilled out my tense shoulders and quieted my racing frustrations. I think it was all the exhaling.
Getting calm kept me from losing it while she wailed...for hours.
I've come to believe that getting calm is the magic first step in any successful "behavioral intervention". It seems most effective to model calm when asking a child to be calm. So I sort of "shh shh shhhh" myself to keep calm, even when working with bigger kids.
- A deep breath with a long exhale
- Silently saying a simple phrase to yourself like, "Alice is frustrated but I am not."
- Singing - lullabies, rock ballads, anytime throughout the day (like you're in a musical :)
- Dropping your shoulders. When I do, usually my feelings follow.
What are your tricks for getting calm when tensions run high? Tell us in the comments below! We all need all the ideas we can get. :)