A group of young parents recently took part in a therapeutic drumming program designed to facilitate the social and emotional skills for healthy relationships and values.
Seven IMPACT Community Services Positive Start Parenting participants took part in DRUMBEAT over a 10 week period. The program uses music, psychology and neurobiology to reconnect with self and others.
DRUMBEAT is an acronym for Discovering Relationships Using Music, Beliefs, Emotions, Attitudes, and Thoughts.
IMPACT’s Manager of Support Services, Sandra Higgins, said many lively discussions around the role of parents in children’s’ lives were facilitated over the course of the 10 weeks.
“This program was challenging at times, however a lot of laughing and fun made it all worthwhile,” she said.
“One of the plays we do is to drum how we feel at the start of the session and at the end of the session. Everyone is happier at the end after banging on the drums for an hour.”
Session 1 was The Rhythm of Parent – Child Relationships which looked at the patterns and impact on the relationship between the two. It proved that stable rhythms are safe rhythms, and that stable people form better relationships. Conflict between parents and their children can often be viewed as a clash of rhythms. The clients were taught the basic notes to use on the Djembe drum. They started learning the Listening Rhythm, the Heartbeat Rhythm and the Storm.
Session 2 was Developing Stronger Parent-Child Relationships which touched on healthy relationships, boundaries, values, good listening supports healthy parent – child relationships. We continued with the Listening Rhythm and touched on the Respect Rhythm.
Session 3 was Harmony in our Relationships. We looked at musical harmony using the Djembe drums, what factors help support family harmony, how the way we treat each other can improve harmony in the parent – child relationship. We completed learning the Listening Rhythm and the Respect Rhythm.
Session 4 was about Discipline and Parent – Child Relationship. Clear boundaries and link to values was discussed, role modelling, consistency and trust, compliance through understanding, communication and consequences.
Session 5 looked at Emotions and Feelings. Did you know there are 600 words in the English dictionary that describe feelings. Two-thirds of these are negative words! Parents need to be sensitive to children’s feelings and they can sometimes be misinterpreted which can lead to conflict. How we express our feelings is important, and some ways are healthier than others. We practiced the Listening Rhythm and the Respect Rhythm.
Session 6 looked at Teamwork and the Family. We discussed the different teams that we are a part of as well as other teams that we enjoy. Healthy teams like families communicate well with each other and respect differences among their members. The clients started learning the Teamwork Rhythm and a lot of fun was had by the clients.
Session 7 was about Outside Influences on the Parent – Child Relationship. How do parents manage the peer relationships of their children, the impact of negative peer influence, parental acrimony and its impact on the child, bullying and working with the school system.
Sandra said: “The clients enjoyed a mini concert by working their way through all the rhythms and finally coming together in harmony. The participants had found their rhythm by the end of the program and received a certificate and most stated that they wanted to do it again next year!”