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Parenting and Teen Music:
The Crucial Dos and Don'ts

Written By : Daniel Currie

Published On : 5/8/2023

Music is more than a rhythmic beat we can sing or hum to. Music is considered all-encompassing, able to release and evoke emotions from the most wicked of thoughts to complete ecstasy and bliss with peace of mind.

That said, should you control the listening to music and the types of music your child listens to? I will explain why it is NEVER a good idea to do this in this post, Parenting and Music: Dos and Don'ts.

Teen girl with brunette hair laying her head on a skatebord outside listening to music from her phone

Scientifically Proven

The first reason we should not control our children's music is that studies have proven that music can affect your mind, mood, and body. This phenomenon revealed that music can improve mood and reduce stress and anxiety. Specifically, listening to music has been found to reduce cortisol, the hormone released in response to stress. It can also reduce heart rate and blood pressure. In addition, music can also stimulate the production of endorphins, which boosts mood and reduces pain.

Teen girl with white headphones on enjoying music dancing with a phone in her hand
"Music has also been found to reduce cortisol levels, help with sleep, reduce depression, and even reduce burnout." - Penn Medicine

Release Agent

Another vital benefit is that music can help validate your teen's current emotional state and provide a healthy outlet for expression. As a result, it becomes an excellent tool for parents to help their teens understand how to regulate their emotions in a healthy, proper way.

In addition, this can create a safe space where your teen can explore and express their feelings without judgment or fear. Finally, even when all else fails, a good tune can be used as a tool or outlet to distract, calm down, and relax.

Teen girl with headphones around her neck using a mop as a microphone singing into it

Young Children and Toddlers

Toddler with oversized headphones (side view) listening in in wonder

Music is a superb tool that can be utilized to calm babies and toddlers- and relaxing music can also bring peace and tranquility to busy and stressed parents. On the flip side, music can also create a stimulating environment to nurture the growth and development of a child. Additionally, parents may use music to bring joy to the family and create an atmosphere of celebration.

Communicate

In addition to the soothing power and tranquil environment music can provide, it is an excellent method for young children and teens to help experience and understand various emotions and feelings. Many people will go as far as stating that music is a type of sub-language to communicate with. Rhythms and tunes allow for emotional communication that you can share with another.

Young teen girl in a purple shirt and pink headphones DJing

However, it is essential to note that no two individuals are alike. What someone might find soothing and nostalgic, another may find sad and fearful. Music can be a great way to express these feelings and connect with our children and others, as long as we remember that each person will experience the same song differently.

How Do Musical Sounds Make You Feel?

Berkeley University has done some amazing studies and impressive investigative work on how certain tunes, musical notes, and harmonies evoke certain emotions. Curious? Check it out!

Parenting and Music: DO!

Teen boy rocking out with an air guitar and headphones around his neck

If your child wants to begin playing an instrument, singing, or joining school activities for this, we should always encourage it! Remember, music takes many forms: where it can be done alone or in a group, with instruments or without- and it can even include listening to music, moving to the music, and doing a little improv to whatever is on.

Creation and Self-Expression

Creating music is essential to self-expression and fosters creative thinking. Exploring and creating music builds self-esteem, problem-solving, and motivation, leading to character and individualism. Inspiring your children to explore their creative side and discover different music-making methods is a fantastic idea. Studies show that active music-making positively affects mental and emotional well-being, which helps our children overall.

"Active music-making positively affects neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and serotonin, that influence mood." - Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare
Band of 3 teens practicing in the basement: 1 on drums, 2 on guitars

What If I Disapprove of the Music?

Man in a pink sweatshirt plugging his ears in discust at the music

Countless parents disapprove of the music their child or teen enjoys and listens to for various reasons. For example, some disagree with the artists' songs' profanity or wording/statements. Others disapprove of the sound of the music or the reputation of the genre of music or the artist. Whatever reason you may have concerning why your child should not listen to certain (or all) music, please strongly think about it and reconsider your standpoint.

Parenting and Music: DON'T!

Whatever the reasons are, they are genuinely justified and well-founded; some types of music out there are hard to swallow, whether morally, socially, or ethically. Understand, though, that the feelings that music evokes and makes a person feel are your child's feelings, not yours. 

Yes, a message or language may be questionable (or flat-out ethically wrong!); however, a person's mind, mood, and body do not decipher the meanings of words in the same way that the body feels rhythm and beat- which can include somebody's voice. When the "message" is offensive, that is when good, solid parenting comes into play. Assuming your child was raised with a robust set of morals and beliefs, it is a reasonable assumption they will be just fine, and the concerning "message" in the song will fall by the wayside.

Young teen girl listening to music on her phone sitting down with blue headphones

In Conclusion

If you and your children enjoy music- whether elevator music, birds chirping, or death metal, lean into it and do not try to shun it away. Remember, if it feels good, regardless of the message it may be delivering, listen on and allow your family belief system and morals to guide you past any sinister messages (then start exploring the genre for other artists that provide a positive message you can get behind!) Either way, music is a gateway to your deepest emotions. It gives you a control dial to manage your stress and anxiety.

I genuinely hope Parenting and Music: Dos and Don'ts gives some insight into the power of music and how it can affect the mind, body, and soul. Remember, music can enhance parenting, but its impact will vary from person to person. For example, suppose certain sounds and rhythms make you feel differently than before hearing them. In that case, it has become critical for your ever-evolving and developing mental health and well-being.

This is because your mind has discovered another avenue to explore or enhance a feeling. Whether you are a child or an adult, it is essential for all humans, including yours.

7 sets of hands raised holding various instruments including guitars, headphone, microphone, record disc, and drum sticks

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