Having a little bit of music in your life every day can be good for reducing stress and anxiety. Research and experience has shown that calming music can provide stress relief for children and adults. This is good news for parents of ADHD kids. Select music that you like that is calming in nature, rather than activating. In other words, music that is great for a work-out or a run is probably not good for calming the nervous system.
For ADHD kids, stress relief from music – plus using their imagination to go to a special place – can be an excellent way to prepare them for getting to bed or from calming down from a stressful day at school. You can help your child select music that will work for him or her. Basically, the same technique will provide stress relief for parents who have had a busy day.
Music can not only help ADHD kids with stress relief, but it can also improve their ability to study and complete homework assignments. Parents, along with educators and health professionals, have long thought that a quiet area is conducive to study time. However, research has shown just the opposite is true. Music actually increases dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter increased by medications for ADHD.
Music has been found to improve attention, concentration, and working memory. It provides a structure that is soothing and can train the brains of ADHD kids for sharper focus. It doesn’t have to be elevator music. In one study, kids listened to contemporary radio stations that played rock and even rap.
Related: The Importance of the Creative Arts for Children and Teens
While music seems to help most kids with ADHD, it may not work and may even be detrimental. Give it a try. Let your child listen to their favorite radio station or shuffle through their faves on their iPod. Additionally, having the TV on while studying is a non-starter. It is distracting and will make things worse rather than better. As much as ADHD kids insist that they can multitask, they can’t.
It might be time to include some music in your life, as well as your child’s, on a daily basis. It could be just what the doctor ordered!