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Hit Drums, Not People! Helping Your Child Get in Rhythm

We have all been to playdates, preschool classrooms and playgrounds where one or all children resort to hitting, swatting, pushing and eventually screaming. Emotional regulation is a developing skill in the early childhood years. Children’s brains learn through repeated opportunities to express themselves, as language is also evolving may not have the words to talk about the feelings and alas, hitting is to follow. Children’s need to express themselves physically before verbally is developmentally appropriate based on brain research and as parents, our goal is to give our children what they need to thrive…like a drum!

Encourage children to hit drums, not people. Seriously! Take a look at these reasons for why drumming and other percussion instruments are truly medicine for the developing mind and body.

• “Playing music was found to be three times more effective for reducing stress-related gene expression than simply chilling out.” –Barry Bitman et al. “Recreational Music-Making Modulates the Human Stress Response: A Preliminary Individualized Gene Expression Strategy,” Medical Science Monitor 11 (2005) :31-40.

• “Human beings are innately musical. Our biology demands it. Every human heart beats in its own unique rhythm.” -R. Mack Harrell, MD

• “Active drumming brings with it the health benefits of exercise, self-expression, and a sense of camaraderie and support with other drummers in the group.” -Christine Stevens, Music Medicine: The Science and Spirit of Healing Yourself with Sound

Grab an unused pot or pan, empty out that stale oatmeal or hit your local music store and grab your child the one toy that will change your life! Also note that once hitting is an “OK” thing to do within limits, it will become less exciting to try on a friend.  Music and wellness is a win for the whole family!  
Carissa Orr
Author: Carissa Orr

Early Childhood Professional, “Music with Ms. Carissa,” Mama, and now blogger thanks to MDM! Carissa works as an Early Childhood Consultant for Michigan’s state-funded Preschool Program, the Great Start Readiness Program.  In her spare time, she entertains children and families with live music as part of her Music with Ms. Carissa.  Most importantly, she is “Jack’s Mom” and loves adventuring with her young toddler all around Metro Detroit!