Music is medicine. I remember when I was 7 years old, I fell in love with the song “Ben,” by the Jackson 5. I’ll admit I was confused when I realized the song was about a boy’s relationship with a rat, but to this very day, the message of the song still hits home.
I’ve always connected with music that teaches love and acceptance. I find it to be healing. This is how I approach songwriting and Storytime with Annie & Rocco’s kids music.
When my kids were toddlers, it seemed like their emotions ranged from big to huge. It was never a dull moment. Happy emotions led to lots of banging on things. Noise, noise, noise! Angry emotions led to tantrums. Actually anything and everything led to tantrums… MORE NOISE!
At times, it was hard for me to find ways to comfort them. You know how it goes, when their whole world is falling apart because they simply can’t put their shirt on, it’s heartbreaking to witness, yet empathy is hard to come by when you’re just drained.
It takes a lot of patience and energy for a parent to respond to their children in ways that are effective for everyone involved. Selflessness can sometimes lead to anxiety.
It’s not easy for us parents to continually let our children express their big emotions while we desperately resist the urge to respond with the same type of manic energy.
I had to find ways to comfort my kids and also release some big emotions of my own.
This led to the writing of kids music and the production of videos to teach my children about feelings and emotions. I had high hopes that a little bit of self-awareness would create a calmer environment at home.
Toddler struggles are real! So I showcase them in our kids music videos.
My children watch the videos and see how normal it is to feel frustrated, scared and exhausted.
They identify with the typical physical responses associated to specific emotions and they begin to understand themselves.
When someone is having an emotional breakdown, it makes it easier for me to say, “Hey, I’m sorry you’re frustrated. Let’s figure out a way that we can make it better for yourself,” and actually come to a introspective resolution.
Helping children identify their feelings creates self-awareness, which can develop into self-management.