Stress Free Students

Stress Free Students

Around the world, students everywhere are dusting off their school shoes, checking to see if their school uniforms still fit and getting ready for the new school year.

Summer holidays in the Southern Hemisphere and Winter Break in the Northern Hemisphere has come to an end.

Groans from bedrooms around the world echo in protest as young people struggle to get back into the routine of going to school.

At my house, my two girls are no exception.Stress_Eggs

For a variety of reasons, both my daughters are changing schools this year.  Living in Melbourne, Australia, my wife, my daughters and I are fortunate to have some wonderful choices available to us as far as education is concerned.  So, we are exploring new opportunities.

Today is their first day at their new schools.  To suggest that we are all a little nervous and anxious – especially me – is perhaps an understatement.

I remember changing schools at exactly the same age as my oldest daughter is now when I was her age.  I did not enjoy it.  Yet, here I am 30 something years later doing exactly the same thing to my girls as my parents did to me.  I most certainly didn’t plan it this way !!  Co-incidence ?  I certainly hope so….

However, probably due to the fact that my girls are vastly more intelligent, more open to new ideas, are much surer about themselves and their identities and are infinitely more aware of what they want to achieve than I ever was, they are also very excited about the opportunities this year will bring.

But, “starting again” can be a challenge for anyone – young or old.  Be that a new year at school, a new job, a change of location or residence or a change of routine, stressful feelings of worry can easily manifest into our thoughts.

Taking My Own Advice.

And so I have taken some of my own advice.

Running a website such as this calming music blog ensures that I have an almost constant supply of calming music.  Being a musician who has had some success with relaxation and calming music, I am fortunate to be able to pick up one of my saxophones, or sit down at my piano or my keyboard and go into my own zen-like meditative state via my music.

Over the last few weeks, as today has drawn nearer, I have found myself listening to the beautiful music within my own CD and MP3 collection. And my girls have done the same.

I have found myself listening to the fine featured musicians who have become involved with and have contributed calming music that can be found within the pages of this website.

As with all change management, being informed and aware and prepared certainly helps.

My wife and I have done our best to talk with our daughters about the differences, the positives and the not so positives, between the “old” school and the “new” schools.stress_eraser

We have noted together as a family that there are good and not so good points about both schools – and we have highlighted what we have learnt and enjoyed at the “old” school and how this can be applied to the “new” schools.  We have pointed out the parts that we know they will enjoy at their new schools.  We have involved them in the decision making process and will continue to provide the support and help that they need.  We will continue to honestly answer any questions they may have.

My girls take after me in their love of music ( and after their mother in their exceptional good looks, their organisational ability and their caring nature ).  Like me, they use their music as a fun and enjoyable escape from the occasional dreariness of reality.

As a result, we have found excellent outlets for their musical and drama pursuits, both within and externally from school.  This gives them the creative outlet and mental enthusiasm of something to look forward to.

Our new school is closer to our house – they will be walking to and from school most mornings and most afternoons.  My youngest is joining a dance group and the school softball team.  This will provide them with enough physical exercise to keep their bodies healthy.

We are lucky in that both our girls prefer healthy foods over greasy takeaway.  Salads, meat, fruit and vegetables feature every day at our house.

As a result, the combination of healthy minds and healthy bodies goes a long way towards minimising the normal stresses and worries our growing girls may be feeling at any moment in time…. Especially today.

We have laid the ground work and are trying our best to prepare them (and ourselves) for the good times and the not as good times.

My wife and I are not perfect parents – far from it.  We make our fair share of mistakes on a daily basis.

However….at the risk of sounding perhaps just a little biased and self congratulatory, I am very proud of my girls.  They are turning into wonderful young women.


** Update **

Two days later and I am pleased to say that the first days at their new schools have gone extremely well.  My daughters are pleased with their new teachers.  They have met some nice new people.  Their new classmates have been friendly and helpful.

They are relieved – as are my wife and I.  Our girls are ready, confident and enthusiastic about grabbing the new year and running with it.

So, after an understandably tense and stressful leadup to The Big Day, it has all turned out well.

Sometimes thought processes can perhaps make mountains out of molehills.

How do you get your children to relax ?




Flickr photo credits – Bernard Goldbach and Alan Cleaver


  • Jaime Buckley

    February 6, 2015

    Heya Matthew =)

    How do I get my kids to relax?

    You mean other than listening to your music…*giggle*–you have some really good stuff here. I’m intimidated though. My wife and kids play instruments, but all I know how to play is my iPod.

    My kids relax through games and conversations.

    There is a LOT of laughter in our house.

    12 kids, 2 parents, a cousin, a grandfather…and a father that tells fantasy stories for a living?

    Stories never end around here.

    • CalmingMusic

      February 6, 2015

      Hi Jamie,

      12 kids, plus a few extras…. I should be asking you about calm, relaxed and happy children rather than the other way around !

      I think you have possibly answered your own question.

      All people, but especially kids, need to feel safe, useful, loved and wanted. Kids need to feel happy. Conversations and laughter are two signs that you’re probably on the right track.

      Laughter has been known to be the best medicine for a looooong time for a lot of issues – stress being one of many that laughter will go a long way towards curing.

      Conversations also contribute to the feeling of belonging and self worth, which in turn help a person – especially those who are vertically or annually challenged – to relax.

      Music can help people tune in and turn off.

      Playing the ipod is just as good as playing a musical instrument. Please don’t feel intimidated – if your wife and kids are musically inclined, then why not sit back and enjoy their talents ? Sounds relaxing to me !

      Reading is also a great way to relax… I’ve heard rumors that there are some wonderful fictional books at that can disengage and then re-engage the mind and allow the reader to get lost in the story. 😉

      Thanks for your input Jamie.