My wife and I work somewhat separate schedules.Ã‚Â I work a typical 9-5 schedule while she works part time at a hospital.Ã‚Â That means I spend some time watching our three boys by myself.Ã‚Â When the kids get all spun up and I start to get frustrated we need to find something to calm us all down.Ã‚Â How do I manage to keep three restless children (all under six) from driving me nuts?Ã‚Â I play the guitar.
I am horrible at playing the guitar.Ã‚Â I only know three or four chords.Ã‚Â I have an eclectic repertoire that doesn’t suite itself for children.Ã‚Â But when the going gets tough out comes my axe and we all sing The Wreck of the Edmond Fitzgerald, I’ve Got Friends In Low Places, or Crying.Ã‚Â The boys absolutely love it!
Research has shown music has a positive effect on children.Ã‚Â Why deny them something so much fun and entertaining?
Even better than calming my herd is the look on their faces as I strum and sing and they dance and smile. Am I ready for American Idol? Hardly. Do I deserve Daddy of the Year? Unlikely.Ã‚Â Am I happy I can calm the savage beasts and give them an appreciation of music? You bet!
What tactics do you use to help quiet or calm your children?
Photo credit: Originally uploaded to Flickr by _RobertC_
Benjamin Strong is the Director of Marketing for the United States Coast Guard Amver search and rescue program.Ã‚Â He is the father of three boys, the oldest with Down syndrome.Ã‚Â You can follow his professional exploits on the Amver blog or on Twitter.