From “Baby Beluga” To “Take A Breath”: Learning From Raffi

When I think of my childhood, I think of Raffi. Even as I type his name now, I start humming Baby Beluga.

All these years later, I’m thrilled to get to connect with Raffi thanks to social media and The MEHRIT Centre.

I love how Raffi recently connected with The MEHRIT Centre to write a song called, Take A Breath: all about self-regulation. I think that this calming, catchy song has a lot of value for both adults and children. It speaks to the SELF part of self-regulation. While there are other songs out there that speak to the power of breathing, I have yet to find another one that shares multiple ways to self-regulate … something that Raffi’s song does and does well. 

I know that breathing works for many people. It works well for me, and it’s something that I try to do when I feel dysregulated. But what about the child that finds breathing dysregulating? Maybe it’s only a couple of children. Maybe it’s only in a couple of situations. If this is the only idea though that we share with children, what message are we sending to them about self-regulation? I can’t help but think about if I was the child that didn’t respond well to breathing. What might this make me think about myself?

I’m excited to share Raffi’s latest song with our students. (I’m selfishly hoping that a music video may be in the works that adds visuals to this audio recording.) I’m hoping that the calming tune helps our children feel calm, but I also hope that the words help them think more about how they self-regulate. Do the three suggestions in the song work for them? Are there other verses that we could add to this song? As a teacher, I can’t help but wonder, am I always accepting of the various self-regulation options? How can I continue to feel more comfortable with different options? Humming along now to Take A Breath, I’m reminded that one way doesn’t necessarily work for all.


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