Coping skills are so important at any age, and our emotions play a huge role in this. Identifying what we are feeling, how to express those feelings, and what to do about them is necessary throughout life, but can be quite difficult. Even fully developed adults can struggle with this.
While adults take on the stresses of everyday life during COVID-19, we sometimes may forget that children are impacted, too. These kids have had a huge shift in their everyday lives: attending school remotely, not being able to see their friends, wearing a mask, and keeping distance from everyone they see. Children have a lot of feelings, and learning how to process and express these feelings comes with their developmental milestones that they maybe haven’t achieved yet.
So, especially in today’s world, how can we use music to help children process and express their emotions, furthering their ability to develop healthy coping skills? Let’s take a look at a few songs that may help.
First things first: it IS okay to cry. In fact, crying is a healthy way to express emotions. Too often we tell children to “stop crying”. Crying is a great way to release negative energy, helps you recover, and may even boost your mood! “It’s Okay to Cry” gives the validation that crying is okay and everyone does it. It’s better to let it out than hold it in. Let’s not forget that crying is okay when you’re happy, too!
This is a collection of short songs that identify emotions and how they may be expressed. These songs explore both positive and negative emotions! One of the short songs in this collection that may be helpful, particularly during remote learning, is “I Think I Need a Break”. Teach this song to children so they have a healthy understanding that they can take a break when they start to feel frustrated or angry. Step away for a moment, and then come back when you are mentally and emotionally ready to tackle that task.
This adapted version of a classic song is a great reminder for both children and adults that everyone is going through something. When you are having a great day, think about your fellow man. What can you do to help? Today, that may look like waving from afar, sending a letter, or giving a loved one a call. Now’s the time to get creative and make the world a better place. We can all put a little love in our hearts!
This song was written during the COVID-19 pandemic specifically to validate feeling negative emotions. It’s absolutely okay to not be okay, and you don’t have to pretend that everything is alright. You can download the lyrics and chords for this song at no charge right here.
Sure, things across the world are opening back up and we may have adjusted to a new routine, but that doesn’t mean there is any less of a need for healthy coping skills. Let’s be honest, the “normal” world everyone knew pre-pandemic will not be back for a while, if ever. I still have clients and students tell me they wish this pandemic was over. Don’t we all?
Let’s do a check-in together: how are you doing? What coping skills are working for you and your little ones?