These activities promote the well-being of parents and children (and it’s proven by science)

These activities promote the well-being of parents and children (and it's proven by science)

According to a recent study, prescribing musical activities and games would allow parents and children to develop new skills while promoting well-being.

Art, and especially music, has many virtues. Recently, a study published in the Public Health journal (led by the University of Leeds) evaluated a five-week program of artistic play, including singing and music making, for families of children aged under three. The results would be very positive both for the well-being of parents and for the development of children’s skills.

Creative play prescriptions

The program studied was developed by a children’s arts charity to address concerns about parents’ wellbeing following the pandemic. This program was prescribed to around twenty parents in a deprived area in the north of England. Study author Dr Paige E. Davis, senior lecturer in developmental psychology at the University of Leeds School of Psychology, said: “Social prescribing is commonly thought to focus on older people, but our study shows that social prescribing for parents and children has benefits for both.“. The program took the form of a one-hour session of sensory games, songs, creative games, a time for discussion between parents and ended with listening to soft music ( or a lullaby) with light ambiance and bubbles. Results? Parents felt like they were improving their well-being while encouraging the acquisition of new skills in their babies. Miranda Thain, artistic producer at Theater Hullabaloo, said : “We see the positive effects of playing creatively with your baby and feeling confident to use these skills in parenting – whether reading, singing or making music – in working with families. Social prescribing provides an important route for families who may need additional support and care to participate in programs of this type. This research, which demonstrates the value in terms of parental and child well-being, is extremely important as we advocate for better investment in early childhood creativity, giving families the tools to give the best of themselves.”

An effective parental support system

This type of prescription is an interesting lever for health professionals who direct patients who need help to improve their health and well-being towards non-medical support such as group activities. This type of program would be an effective alternative to medication or other interventions. Thus, the study authors also noticed that parents were more receptive to the parenting advice given during these sessions. In addition, sharing experiences with other parents was also beneficial. “Recently, efforts have been made to facilitate different life transitions through social prescriptions. The transition to parenthood has been neglected in the past in terms of support offered, despite the importance of the relationship between parent and child in the first 1000 days“insists the author of the study, Dr. Paige E. Davis. The latter concludes that other complementary studies will be needed to analyze the long-term benefits for parents and children following this type of program. accompaniment.